Appleton impressed by Pompey show

PA Sport
Michael Appleton
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Michael Appleton

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton savoured a three-goal show from his team at Peterborough as they put off-field concerns to one side to claim a welcome 3-0 npower Championship success.

The south-coast club achieved their second away success of the season just days after being issued with a winding-up order by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill.

And the difficult circumstances made a victory at London Road, secured by two Erik Huseklepp goals and a Jason Pearce header, all the more enjoyable according to Appleton. He said: "A lot of rubbish has gone on off the field so that makes the result and performance that much sweeter."

He added: "It was undoubtedly the finest away performance of my time as manager."

Huseklepp took his Portsmouth goal tally to five but manager Appleton still wants more from him. He said: "My big gripe with Erik is that he regularly shows flashes of brilliance but lacks the end product.

"We played him in a more advanced role and he got his rewards with a couple of goals. It is something I expect to see him doing more often."

Portsmouth climb to 16th in the standings, 10 points clear of the drop zone, after leapfrogging their hosts. Beaten Peterborough are one point and one place worse off after slumping to a third successive league defeat.

But manager Darren Ferguson insists he will not change his footballing principles during a difficult time. He said: "When you concede poor goals at this level, you get punished. We have always known we could find ourselves in a tough run and we realise that everyone - including some of our fans - will be doubting us.

"But I don't have a problem with that. Myself and the players had a good chat in the dressing room immediately after the game and we are all up for the challenge of turning results around.

"We need to find a way of breaking opposition teams down but we are not going to change the way we play and I'm certainly not going to alter my philosophy. Doing things this way got us promoted and had us in the top half of the table earlier in the season."

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