Appy backs Blues management team but feels squad lift is key

Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford are the ideal men to lead Pompey forward.

But a successful fight against relegation will hinge on when the club can come out of administration.

That is the verdict of Michael Appleton, who has every faith the caretaker pair can deliver.

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The man who walked out of Fratton Park for Blackpool last week has worked closely with both men during the past year.

Pompey are currently 18th in League One, two points above the relegation zone.

That position will worsen when the expected 10 points are deducted.

Meanwhile, with the club still in administration they will be forced to continue operating with a 20-man squad.

And that is where Appleton believes the real problem lies in their challenge.

He said: ‘Guy and Awfs are big Portsmouth people. They know the football club inside out and I would imagine that they would get a lot of support from the fans.

‘That is the most important thing at this moment in time – you need the supporters’ backing.

‘Hopefully they will pull everyone together. Good luck to them, I’m honestly hoping they do well.

‘The inevitable will happen at some point with a points deduction.

‘But it’s not so much the points that will be the problem, it’s having the opportunity to have a little bit of quantity to go with the quality.

‘You can have the first XI players – but then not the backing behind them.

‘You need to be able to work with more than 20 players and, if and when that changes, it will be massive.

‘That will be the big factor in Portsmouth staying up. It is absolutely vital for Guy and Awfs in the future.’