Tag Archives: burnley

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore of comic own goal fame hits wonder strike

Djimi Traore once scored a comedy Liverpool own goal, but now he's struck a superb effort (and it went in at the right end!)

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 13 March 2013

He doesn't score many great goals, or many goals for that matter, but Djimi Traore yesterday hit one of the strikes of the year to help his Seattle Sounders side reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.

Best remembered for his comical own goal for Liverpool against Burnley in the FA Cup third round in 2005, this time Traore hit a rocket from 30 yards to put Seattle 2-1 up in the tie against Mexican side Tigres.

Scroll down for videos…

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Liverpool's Djimi Traore looks back as he knocks the ball into his own net

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

The spaghetti-legged defender, who played for Liverpool, Charlton,
Portsmouth and Birmingham City fans during his time in England, saw the
ball bounce perfectly for him on the half volley, before hitting an
unstoppable shot past Jorge Diaz de Leon, and in off the crossbar for
good measure.

Seattle went on to win the match 3-1 (3-2 on aggregate), making history in the process by becoming the first MLS team to beat a Mexican club since the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2008.

The Mali defender is also remembered for being one of the most average players to win a Champions League medal, starting for Liverpool against AC Milan in the 2005 final in Istanbul.

Just four months after his mistake at Turf Moor, he gave away a free-kick in the first minute of the famous final, from which Milan scored through Paolo Maldini.

But he later atoned for his error with a crucial goal-line clearance, and picked up a winners medal after Liverpool's heroic comeback.

In his seven years at Anfield, the 33-year-old also won the FA Cup in 2006 and the League Cup in 2003.

His wonder strike for Seattle is only his fourth ever senior goal.

Traore has also appeared in European competition 35 times throughout his career.

And to think Matt Le Tissier, who scored goals like this for fun, didn't make a single appearance on the continent…

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

Djimi Traore of Liverpool

VIDEO: Traore's wonder strike for Seattle

Traore wonder goal

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VIDEO: Traore's less than wonderful own goal for Liverpool

Jimmy Anderson on cloud nine after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar – Lawrence Booth

Top Spin at the Test: 'Burnley Express' on cloud nine

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UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 14 December 2012

When Jimmy Anderson knocked back Sachin Tendulkar's middle stump via an inside edge to dismiss him for just two, it was the ninth time in Tests Anderson has got his man – the most by any bowler during Tendulkar's 194-match career, one clear of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. In all, Anderson has trapped Tendulkar lbw three times, bowled him twice and had him caught behind and in the slips twice each.

Tormentor: James Anderson (file image)

Tormentor: James Anderson (file image)

Sehwag's unwanted record

Tendulkar may not be the only Indian batsman developing a complex about Anderson. Virender Sehwag also lost his middle stump to the England bowler, thus completing his 16th Test duck – a record for an Indian recognised batsman. Seven of those blobs have come against England, with Anderson now his chief tormentor, having also removed him for nought at Mumbai in March 2006 and at Edgbaston in August 2011.

Cheteshwar Pujara became the latest victim of a poor umpiring decision in this series when he was given out by Rod Tucker caught at short leg off his elbow. Despite that, it was a superb reflex catch by Ian Bell, who had resumed his customary position under the helmet after Joe Root had missed a chance there seven overs earlier, failing to stay down and getting hit flush on the right shin as Pujara played forward to Monty Panesar.

Root is up in good company

Only three England batsmen have made more runs in their debut Test innings against India than Joe Root's 73. Kent's Bryan Valentine hit 136 at the Brabourne Stadium in what was then Bombay way back in December 1933, while Owais Shah managed 88 at Mumbai's newer Wankhede Stadium in March 2006, an innings in which he was affected by wrist cramps. Lancashire's Geoff Pullar hit 75 at Headingley in 1959.

Swann is flying again

When Graeme Swann made 85 against South Africa at Centurion three years ago, hopes were high that England were uncovering a bowling all-rounder. But his 56 yesterday was his first half-century since that Test, in which time – until yesterday – he had scored only 679 Test runs at an average of 18. The way he timed Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla for sixes was a long overdue reminder of what he is capable of.

Manchester United players laugh at annual youth team pantomime

Ho, ho, ho! Tis the season to be jolly… but just what is Fergie and his Manchester United stars laughing at

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 14 December 2012

Just what has made Sir Alex Ferguson and his players laugh so hard

Has someone shown them the Premier League table, which shows a very healthy six-point lead over bitter rivals City

Perhaps Nemanja Vidic is smiling because he's finally seen the back of the treatment table, or Ryan Giggs has been told he's getting another contract extension.

Or maybe, Mario Balotelli's notorious lack of direction has led him to turn into the wrong training ground in his camouflaged Bentley.

Tis the season! Sir Alex Ferguson is tickled by something in the club's annual Christmas panto, performed by youth team players

Tis the season! Sir Alex Ferguson is tickled by something in the club's annual Christmas panto, performed by youth team players

All smiles: Ryan Giggs (left) and Wayne Rooney in fits of giggles at something in the panto. Rooney was reportedly the butt of many jokes

All smiles: Ryan Giggs (left) and Wayne Rooney in fits of giggles at something in the panto. Rooney was reportedly the butt of many jokes

The real reason is much better –
they're watching the annual United youth team pantomime today, a chance for
the up and coming stars to lampoon the senior boys without fear of
Fergie's wrath.

It's an annual tradition at the
Carrington training complex after a slap-up Turkey meal where the
sprouts and spuds are usually doled out by Sir Alex himself.

It was also a bit of light relief for the young charges, who were beaten 4-3 at home by Burnley in the FA Youth Cup this week and so missed out on a tie with Manchester City.

Rare smile: Even defensive hardman Nemanja Vidic found the performance hilarious

Rare smile: Even defensive hardman Nemanja Vidic found the performance hilarious

Jolly: Phil Jones is in stitches as the youth players take the mickey

Jolly: Phil Jones is in stitches as the youth players take the mickey

Apparently, Wayne Rooney was once
again the butt of most of the jokes in the performance, with the younger
lads poking fun at his weight.

'They're considering hiring fat suits,' said a club source last week.

Rio Ferdinand alluded to the show on Twitter, saying: 'Funny day at training today….pity the weather didn't reflect our mood! #gloomy'

Last year, he was ridiculed for his
hair transplant when a youth team player dressed up in a Rooney No10
shirt, Shrek mask and curly black wig.

He then gave a mock interview, describing how the follicle transplant had changed his life.

Very funny! Jonny Evans makes no effort to hide his amusement

Very funny! Jonny Evans makes no effort to hide his amusement

Hot under the collar Did one of the youth teamers have the nerve to lampoon Sir Alex

Hot under the collar Did one of the youth teamers have the nerve to lampoon Sir Alex

The real Rooney couldn't do anything but laugh – though I'm sure his face was bright red.

Another target last time was Spanish
goalkeeper David De Gea, who had been caught stealing a doughnut from
Tesco earlier in the year.

A youth team player walked onto the stage munching a box of Krispy Kremes.

But there was controversy too, with reports that an unidentified player threw a mince pie at Sir Alex.

It would be a brave man to parody the boss in the panto, but pie-throwing is surely the height of foolishness!

P.S. At least Fergie finds it funny this time!

Last year, Rooney landed himself in hot water on a Manchester United-themed quiz show. In a game of charades, he was asked to act out the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' for teammates Ryan Giggs and Jonny Evans to guess.

They just couldn't get it, so Rooney pointed at Sir Alex on the opposing team and mimed a boot being kicked into his face – a reference to the nasty incident involving Becks in the dressing room after a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in a 2003 FA Cup final.

To say Fergie didn't look impressed was an understatement and he just said: 'That'll cost you.'

Jonny Evans groin injury keeps him out of Northern Ireland World Cup qualifier

Groin injury for Man United defender Evans is blow for Northern Ireland

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UPDATED:

22:58 GMT, 10 November 2012

Northern Ireland have lost influential defender Jonny Evans for the World Cup 2014 qualifier against Azerbaijan on Wednesday, with Andy Little and Alex Bruce also ruled out through injury.

While Little (foot) and Bruce (knee) would be unlikely to make the starting XI for the Group F clash, Evans (groin) is one of Michael O'Neill's most important players and was one of the top performers in the side's memorable 1-1 draw in Portugal last month.

O'Neill has responded to the withdrawals by adding uncapped Liverpool teenager Ryan McLaughlin and Burnley's Danny Lafferty to his squad.

Big miss: Jonny Evans (right) will not be fit for Northern Ireland's qualifier

Big miss: Jonny Evans (right) will not be fit for Northern Ireland's qualifier

Manchester United centre-back Evans had a modest turnout record in the latter stages of Nigel Worthington's reign but has been a regular since O'Neill took over at the turn of the year, even playing despite carrying a knock against Luxembourg in September.

His withdrawal is mitigated somewhat by the presence of West Brom's Gareth McAuley in the squad.

McAuley was suspended for the Portugal match but should now slot back into the centre of defence, where Craig Cathcart and Aaron Hughes are also available.

Little made a fine start to the season with Rangers, but he has now pulled out of successive Northern Ireland squads due to fitness issues.

Bruce, pencilled in to offer cover at right-back, has also dropped out of the last two parties.

McLaughlin, a highly-rated 18-year-old who has yet to make his senior Liverpool debut, will now deputise at right-back having been promoted from the Under-21 side to face England on Tuesday.

Tussle: Evans featured in the week against Braga

Tussle: Evans featured in the week against Braga

Left-back Lafferty is not a like-for-like replacement for any of the injured players but with Cathcart now needed in the centre, he will vie with Ryan McGivern for a starting spot.

Derby striker Jamie Ward (hamstring) was the first player to be withdrawn from O'Neill's 24-man panel and was yesterday replaced by Inverness' Billy McKay.

Ipswich 2 Burnley 1: match report

Ipswich 2 Burnley 1: Mick's dancing to DJ's tune as Campbell strikes late

PRESS ASSOCIATION

PUBLISHED:

17:45 GMT, 10 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 10 November 2012

DJ Campbell lifted Ipswich off the foot of the npower Championship table as his late goal secured a narrow win over Burnley.

Daryl Murphy had given the Tractor Boys the lead only for Sam Vokes to equalise before Campbell secured all three points with just three minutes remaining.

The result gives Mick McCarthy two wins from three since taking the manager's job at Portman Road while Sean Dyche suffered his first defeat as Burnley boss.

Off the bottom: DJ Campbell's strike earned Ipswich three vital points

Off the bottom: DJ Campbell's strike earned Ipswich three vital points

Match facts

Ipswich: Henderson, Chambers, Higginbotham, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N'Daw, Wellens (Emmanuel-Thomas 79), Reo-Coker, Murphy, Campbell (Mohsni 89).

Subs Not Used: Loach, Hewitt, Chopra, Scotland, Drury.

Booked: Reo-Coker.

Goals: Murphy 51, Campbell 87.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace (Stanislas 65), Stock (Bartley 65), Marney (Vokes 76), McCann, Paterson, Austin.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Ings, Edgar, Mee.

Booked: Wallace,Paterson.

Goals: Vokes 80.

Att: 16,297

Ref: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).

Click here for latest Championship results, fixtures and table

The home side made two changes with
Tommy Smith and Guirane N'Daw brought into the side to replace Andy
Drury and the suspended Lee Martin.

Danny Lafferty made his first start
of the season for Burnley in place of Ben Mee who sustained a swollen
foot in the match against Leeds.

It was a quiet start but Campbell was
the first man to threaten for Ipswich as his turn and shot in the box
was saved by Lee Grant with N'Daw putting the rebound over the bar.

Martin Paterson tested Stephen
Henderson with a shot from a narrow angle but the goalkeeper made a
smart save with his feet at the near post.

Carlos Edwards and Richie Wellens
then combined well with Wellens' final ball finding Campbell in the
penalty area but Lee Grant made a smart save to tip his shot around the
post.

Grant had his heart in his mouth as
he spilled Aaron Cresswell's cross but the ball was cleared off the line
before referee Mark Brown eventually awarded a free kick for a foul on
the goalkeeper by Murphy.

But just six minutes into the second
half Town took the lead as Grant was not given the benefit of the doubt
in a challenge with the Irish striker.

Wellens put a cross into the box and Murphy and Grant went up together with the former Sunderland man heading home.

Grant felt he was fouled and Burnley
players surrounded the referee but Brown was unmoved and Murphy was
awarded his first strike at Portman Road this season.

The home fans were calling for a red card as Ross Wallace brought down Cresswell but the referee produced a yellow.

Dyche brought on Junior Stanislas and
Marvin Bartley as he attempted to get his side back into the game but
barring a Stanislas shot over the bar, it was Ipswich who remained in control.

Dyche made his final substitution
bringing on Vokes and the striker had an almost instantaneous impact as
he levelled with 10 minutes to go.

Stanislas put a cross into the box and Vokes was credited with the final touch as he rose with Danny Higginbotham to meet the ball.

But in the 86th minute substitute
Jay-Emmanuel Thomas found Edwards who produced a wonderful cross for
Campbell to slot home and secure the win for Town.

Blackpool manager latest: Portsmouth demand Michael Appleton compensation

Pompey hold out for 200,000 compensation as Appleton edges towards Blackpool

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UPDATED:

11:29 GMT, 6 November 2012

Portsmouth want 200,000 compensation from Blackpool for their highly-rated manager Michael Appleton.

Sportsmail exclusively revealed that Appleton was the leading contender to replace Ian Holloway, who left for Crystal Palace last week.

The Tangerines have made an official approach to Pompey and both clubs are currently locked in talks over a suitable compensation package.

On the move: Michael Appleton is set to leave Portsmouth and replace Ian Holloway as the new Blackpool manager

On the move: Michael Appleton is set to leave Portsmouth and replace Ian Holloway as the new Blackpool manager

Football League blog

The cash-strapped League One club want 200,000 to release Appleton from his contract, a price Blackpool are hesitant to pay.

But Blackpool owner Karl Oyston,
whose club received in the region of 500,000 from Palace for Holloway,
is confident a deal can be reached.

Oyston moved quickly to snare No. 1 choice Appleton after Holloway's exit.

Pole position: Owen Coyle is favourite for the Blackpool post

In the frame: Former Bolton and Burnley manager Owen Coyle

And it is understood Blackpool chiefs
had already drawn up a shortlist of names to replace their ex-boss well
before Holloway's actual departure.

Holloway made it crystal clear to the
Tangerines hierarchy that he was unhappy with the fact he had only been
given a rolling contract and a minimal playing budget.

And the club felt it was only a
matter of time before their likeable manager moved, hence their decision
to implement plans for a replacement weeks prior to Holloway's exit.

New home: Ian Holloway is the new Crystal Palace boss

New home: Ian Holloway is the new Crystal Palace boss

Owen Coyle favourite for Blackpool role

Coyle favourite for Blackpool role with Holloway hole set to be plugged inside 24 hours

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UPDATED:

13:07 GMT, 5 November 2012

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston is determined to limit the damage caused by Ian Holloway’s departure by appointing a successor within the next 24 hours.

Owen Coyle remains the favourite to replace Holloway, who left for Crystal Palace over the weekend, but Paul Ince is also a strong contender to take over at Bloomfield Road where his son, Tom, is one of Blackpool’s star players.

Coyle was sacked as Bolton manager last month, and Wanderers took more than two weeks to appoint Dougie Freedman.

Pole position: Owen Coyle is favourite for the Blackpool post

Pole position: Owen Coyle is favourite for the Blackpool post

Lancashire neighbours Blackburn and Burnley also took their time to appoint new managers in Henning Berg and Sean Dyche, but Oyston believes that only causes more problems.

He said: ‘I’ve seen some of our near neighbours take some time, and the instability has not done them any favours. So I’d like to move quickly if we can.

‘We’ve spoken to a few people, and we hope to make an appointment in the next day or so.

New home: Ian Holloway is the new Crystal Palace boss

New home: Ian Holloway is the new Crystal Palace boss

‘I’m hopeful we’ll know who our new manager is by the end of today.

‘We’ve spent most of the weekend talking to people and considering where we go next.

‘It’s a very difficult process and always a gamble, but we’d like to make sure the gamble is calculated.’

Scunthorpe sack Alan Knill, Brian Laws takes over

Scunthorpe lay down the Laws after sacking boss Knill for woeful start to season

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UPDATED:

12:19 GMT, 29 October 2012

Knill by mouth: Scunny have sacked their manager

Knill by mouth: Scunny have sacked their manager

Alan Knill has been sacked as manager of npower League One side Scunthorpe and will be replaced by Brian Laws.

Following the weekend defeat against MK Dons – the club's ninth loss in 15 league games this season – the board opted to remove Knill from his post.

The 48-year-old former Iron player won just 16 of his 78 games in charge of the club since he replaced Ian Baraclough in March 2011.

Knill was unable to keep the Iron in
the Championship that season before the club struggled the following
year in League One, finishing a lowly 18th.

Laws,
who will take charge from tomorrow and will be assisted by Russ Wilcox,
returns for his second spell at Glanford Park after achieving two
promotions in a nine-year stint between 1997 and 2006.

The old team's back: Laws and Wilcox are back in charge at Glanford Park

The old team's back: Laws and Wilcox are back in charge at Glanford Park

Managerial departures 2012-13

August 24 – Andy Thorn (Coventry)
August 28 – John Sheridan (Chesterfield)
September 19 – Terry Brown (AFC Wimbledon)
September 22 – Gary Waddock (Wycombe)
September 24 – John Ward (Colchester)
September 28 – Steve Kean (Blackburn)
October 3 – Paul Groves (Bournemouth)
October 9 – Owen Coyle (Bolton)
October 12 – Eddie Howe (Burnley)
October 23 – Dougie Freedman (Crystal Palace)
October 24 – Neale Cooper (Hartlepool)
October 24 – Paul Jewell (Ipswich)
October 26 – Paul Cook (Accrington)
October 29 – Alan Knill (Scunthorpe)

A statement released via the club's
official Twitter feed read: 'Scunthorpe United Football Club has
relieved Alan Knill of his first-team duties with immediate effect.

'The difficult decision was made inevitable by the recent long run of disappointing performances, particularly at home.

'The club would like to thank Alan for his hard work and wish him well for the future.

'Brian Laws has been appointed manager with effect from tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30) and he will be assisted by Russ Wilcox.

'(Coaches) Chris Brass and Neil Cutler have agreed to stay on and discuss their future with the new manager.

'The
board are delighted that Brian has returned to our club and feel
confident that he will be able to restore the confidence to our talented
squad of players and look forward to progressing quickly towards a more
secure position in the league.'

John Connelly dead

England World Cup winner Connelly dies, aged 74

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UPDATED:

15:19 GMT, 25 October 2012

John Connelly has died at the age of 74.

Former Burnley, Manchester United, Blackburn and Bury right-winger Connelly started the opening game of England's triumphant 1966 campaign, a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley.

The match proved to be the last of his 20 international caps, during which time he scored seven goals.

John Connelly

John Connelly

Passed away: Connelly, pictured here in 2009, has died, aged 74

At club level, Connelly was twice a league champion – helping Burnley to the First Division title in 1960 during a prolific spell that brought 105 goals in 265 appearances.

In April 1964 he made the move to Old Trafford and, playing on the opposite flank to George Best, helped Matt Busby's side to the title the following year.

In black and white: Connelly has passed away

In black and white: The World Cup winner played 20 times for England

The season after being a part of World Cup glory, Connelly moved back to east Lancashire for a four-year spell with Blackburn before joining Bury and hanging his boots up in May 1973.

A club statement on Connelly released by Burnley read: 'One of Burnley's most prolific and popular wingers, he died peacefully at home on Thursday morning.

'The flag at Turf Moor will fly at half mast as a mark of respect to one of the Clarets' favourite sons.'

Michael Appleton on managing Portsmouth: The hardest job in football

Hardest job in football Owner arrested, in administration and barely any players…

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UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 13 October 2012

Michael Appleton lost all his players this summer, lost some of his salary and lost count of the hours he has worked to find a team to represent Portsmouth in League One each week.

But the man with the hardest managerial position in the country has not yet lost his sense of humour.

‘For 10 days the job was brilliant,’ said Appleton, in that deadpan manner of comedians on the Northern club circuit. ‘Then the owner Vladimir Antonov was arrested. From that day on, it’s been carnage.’

In the 11 months since that embarrassment, another sorrowful chapter in the rapid decline of a once-proud football club, Appleton has rejected offers from other clubs.

Tough gig: Michael Appleton has been in charge at Portsmouth since November last year

Tough gig: Michael Appleton has been in charge at Portsmouth since November last year

However, his loyalty is in peril of being challenged the longer Portsmouth remain in administration. His record under unimaginable duress at Fratton Park, as well as the success he had previously experienced as West Brom coach, first under Roberto Di Matteo, now riding high at Chelsea, then by working with Roy Hodgson, these days responsible for the fate of the England national team, has not gone unnoticed.

It is understood Appleton is attracting the attention of Burnley’s board, who have begun the search for a replacement for Eddie Howe after the Championship club agreed compensation for him to return to Bournemouth on Friday. At 36, Appleton has friends in high places.

‘Recently, I was at a League Managers’ Association meeting at St George’s Park, at Burton, and chatted with Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Sam Allardyce about the struggles we have at Portsmouth,’ said Appleton, who began his playing career with United. ‘But although they all have fantastic experience in the game, none of them can relate to what’s happening at Portsmouth.’

Appleton’s commitment to the club has been absolute from the day he walked through the door to be given a five-year blueprint of the future Antonov envisaged for Portsmouth.

‘They wanted me to design a new training ground, to set up a recruitment centre similar to the one we had at West Brom,’ said Appleton. All Antonov failed to produce was the scaled drawings for the fantasy tower he inhabited.

An arrest warrant from Lithuanian prosecutors, alleging asset stripping of the bank, Bankas Snoras, brought Antonov’s ownership to a swift, shameful end last November.

Halcyon days: AC Milan's visit to Fratton Park seems a world away

Halcyon days: AC Milan's visit to Fratton Park seems a world away

In February, Portsmouth were placed in
administration for a second time. Since then, Appleton could have moved
on but he said: ‘For some reason I have ended up staying, but you can
only be kicked for so long. At some point, you might turn round and
think, “Hold on a minute, there has to be more to this football
management lark than this”.

‘I am a fighter and I don’t like giving up or being beaten. I have dedicated my life to this job. In the position we are in that’s what you have to do. But the message I’m getting from a lot of managers, and from people associated with the game, is that I’m working with my hands tied while buried alive. Yet still, they say, I keep coming up for air!’

Head boy: Wes Thomas (above, left) puts Portsmouth 1-0 up in the win over Crewe

Head boy: Wes Thomas (above, left) puts Portsmouth 1-0 up in the win over Crewe

Like everyone else at Portsmouth, Appleton went without his salary in January and the majority of the staff took a 25 per cent pay cut after the club entered administration again, which resulted in a ten-point deduction that assured relegation from the Championship. ‘I had that many players in my office, I might as well have had a revolving door,’ said Appleton. ‘But I was honest with them all, told them where we were as a club and tried to help all of them leave in as a good a place as I could.’

In the summer, circumstances worsened. Appleton did not have a single professional until two days before the season began. Somehow, he has since persuaded 18 players to accept month-by-month employment, alongside two full-time teenagers from the club’s development squad, as the club are allowed just 20 players under the terms of administration.

‘I can’t give them any security,’ said Appleton. ‘Every week is a balancing act. That’s why we hope tomorrow, next week, or the week after we get the news the club will be brought out of administration. Hopefully, the new owners will invest in the squad to protect their investment.’

To the dismay of Portsmouth supporters, the new owner could yet be an old owner, Balram Chainrai, who is loathed at Fratton Park after his first period in control through a company called Portpin. Once the club are freed of the administrators, they will automatically be deducted 10 points to raise fears of Ports-mouth dropping into the basement of English football next May.

Yet Appleton pledges that he will not allow morale to slump while he remains in charge. ‘I don’t allow myself or others to get down at this club,’ he said.

His frustration, however, is becoming evident.