Appleton eyes additions

PA Sport
Michael Appleton
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Michael Appleton

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton admits he is desperate to add to his threadbare squad, despite the prospect of the club entering administration on Friday.

Appleton's men went down 1-0 to Ipswich at a raucous Fratton Park, Michael Chopra's goal after 13 minutes sealing the three points for the Tractor Boys, and Paul Jewell's team should won even more convincingly.

But a lacklustre performance from the South Coast side failed to dampen the home fans' spirit as chants of 'we're not going to die' thundered from the Fratton End for over half an hour after the final whistle. Pompey face an uncertain future as they look set to enter administration at a High Court hearing on Friday.

The move could leave Pompey unable to add to their depleted playing staff. But after watching Liam Lawrence (calf) and Greg Halford (knee) limp off, Appleton admits reinforcements are needed.

He said: "We've got to be very careful and make sure we get enough players to fulfil fixtures with Luke Varney and David Norris already out. There's the possibility of Liam and Greg joining them as well and that makes things very, very difficult.

"Between ourselves, the directors and administrators, we need to look at the possibility of recruiting one or two players. Once the court hearing takes place, I'd like to think we'll be in a position to do something. We've got 15 players if that."

On top of the club's financial woes, Appleton was left to rue a disallowed goal after 72 minutes. Referee Darren Deadman felt a Halford long throw from the left-hand side flew into the net without being touched. But after viewing a replay, Appleton felt Ipswich's Jay Emmanuel-Thomas made contact.

He said: "I hope the referee is disappointed with the decision he made. I was so disappointed for the fans because they came in their droves and it would have been nice to get something out of the game for them."

Jewell was pleased with how his side coped in the cauldron of noise at Fratton Park and felt Ipswich were good value for their victory. He said: "It was a difficult night to come here with everything that's going on at this football club. It's obviously a tough time for everyone connected to it and especially the supporters.

"We knew they would be as one, back their team and we knew we had to start quick and not let them get any momentum. We started the game very fast and very sharp. The goal was the least we deserved. On the balance of play, I think we fully deserved to win. On paper, it may be a 1-0, but we could have scored four or five goals."

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