Pompey On Brink Of Relegation

Manager Michael Appleton admits Portsmouth are looking at League One football for the first time since 1983 after a 1-0 home npower Championship defeat to relegation rivals Millwall.

Pompey could have moved to within seven points of the south London club with victory at Fratton Park, but instead fell nine points adrift of safety with only four games remaining.

"I'm realistic enough to know that we're going to have to win four games and unless we do we're going to be looking at playing in a different division," said Appleton, whose side were beaten by Harry Kane's first-half strike.

Andy Keogh controlled a long ball eight minutes before the interval, twisted into space and teed up the Tottenham loanee, who stepped inside his marker and rifled a finish into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards.

In an otherwise uninspiring affair, Pompey had plenty of territory and possession but lacked a cutting edge.

After a brave 2-2 draw at rivals Southampton on Saturday, this looked a game too far for many of the Football League's smallest squad, and provided a tame end to Pompey's survival hopes.

"It's obviously disappointing," added Appleton.

"We started the game really well, created a few good opportunities, got in behind them, but the first goal in football is so important and we've allowed the centre half to lump a ball up the field and given a really poor goal away.

"You could see in the second half the confidence oozing away from the players and it wasn't nice to see given the amount of effort they've put in over the last few weeks.

"It was a difficult night, but you learn alot about certain people tonight. There's alot I'll learn about a few of them tonight.

"I don't want to see anyone making excuses. We've still got four games to play, you've got to do it with a professional attitude as it's still mathematically possible.

"You never know what's going to happen over the next two-and-a-half weeks or so."

Appleton admits that come the summer he will be looking to have a complete overhaul of the administration-hit club, irrespective of which division they find themselves in.

"You dont learn anything when you're on a bit of a winning run, you learn more about people under severe circumstances," he added.

"Neil Warnock said yesterday that there may be a big clear out at Leeds United, but I think from our point of view somewhere along the line there has to be a fresh slate and fresh impetus into the club."

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