Jewell Impressed With Appleton
Tuesday, 14th Feb 2012 06:10
Town manager Paul Jewell says he’s been impressed with the way his Portsmouth counterpart Michael Appleton has dealt with his club’s travails, despite only taking on his first managerial role in November. Yesterday, Pompey, who the Blues face at Fratton Park this evening, made an application to the High Court to go into administration for the second time in two years.
Jewell said: “I don’t know him, [Town coach] Sean [McCarthy] knows him. I’ve been very impressed with the way he’s dealt with the situation. He’s been very honest, very up front. He’s never hidden from any questions.
“He’s come from being a coach at West Brom to find himself in a right situation at Portsmouth and I think he’s dealt with it very well.
“He’s learnt so much. How long has he been a manager? Three or four months? In that time he’s probably learnt more about the game than he ever thought he would. I think he’s held himself together really well.”
The Town boss says Portsmouth’s struggles have helped develop a spirit between the players and a support which has always impressed him: “Every time I’ve been to Portsmouth the supporters have been up for it.
“I remember going there with Bradford and we were winning 3-0 at half-time but you would have thought they were winning 3-0, they just didn’t stop singing.
“I think they’ve been through an awful lot in the last few years and I think there’s a bond between the supporters and the players.
“I think the players and the manager deserve great credit because of the way they’ve gone about the situation.
“I don’t know too much about it because I don’t understand it but they’ve almost used that to come together. We know it’s always a difficult atmosphere there but we’ve got to go there and stand up to it.”
Jewell says adversity doesn’t always help instil that sort of spirit, his spell as manager at Hillsborough didn’t work out, for example: “Sheffield Wednesday had just been relegated from the Premier League when I went there and they owed the bank an awful lot of money and we had to sell players.
“It didn’t make for a great atmosphere there but sometimes, and Portsmouth are one of those cases and I think other clubs have done the same, players rally round and say ‘Look, let’s just play our football and let’s see what happens’ and the supporters really appreciate that.”
The Town manager says that despite, or perhaps partly due to, their troubles, Pompey have played well every time he has watched them recently: “I’ve seen them on a number of occasions.
“I saw them at Peterborough, where they were excellent and won that game 3-0. I saw them play at Birmingham, where they lost to a late goal and were every bit as good as Birmingham on the night, and I saw the tape of their game at Blackpool, where they were very good as well.
“They’ve got good players, they’ve got good shape about them and the manager’s done really well there in difficult circumstances. They’ve got a blend of youth and experience and it’ll be a good game.”
As for his much-publicised January move for Pompey trio Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Stephen Henderson – Portsmouth turned down the Blues’ bid for the former while the latter pair failed to agree personal terms – Jewell says it’s not in his thoughts going into tonight’s game: “It’s not something I’m thinking about. Sometimes a deal gets done, sometimes it doesn’t for whatever reason.
“It’s been well-documented that we made offers for some players, it didn’t happen, that’s football, that’s life. Everybody moves on. I won’t be the first manager who hasn’t got the players he’s made offers for.”
Photo: Action Images
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