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League One

'Happy' Appleton dismisses speculation

15 October 2012

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton said he had a big enough job on his hands at Fratton Park after being linked with the current vacancies at Burnley and Bolton.

The former Manchester United and Preston midfielder was quizzed about the speculation after his side registered a third win in four league games with a 2-0 home success over Crewe.

Asked if all the managerial talk had been a distraction, Appleton said: "I can't control what other people around me think - how the fans and players react to it. But I've got a tough enough job here to start worrying about other jobs."

Wes Thomas headed the hosts in front from Jon Harley's cross after just two minutes and when Thomas went down under pressure from Andy Bond, Izale McLeod stepped forward to convert the subsequent penalty 16 minutes later.

Appleton added: "I said when people were getting excited after a couple of games that it might take until November to see the best of this team. We've got so much work to do and the players are nowhere near at their best at the minute.

"But most importantly, we are picking up results along the way. During the time we work towards playing our best football, hopefully we can keep picking up results."

Crewe boss Steve Davis was furious with referee David Phillips' decision to award Pompey their first-half penalty.

He said: "It wasn't a penalty. He (Bond) didn't touch him for the second goal. I thought he (Thomas) dived. If you watch it, you can see that he dived. There was no contact, so I thought that was a poor decision.

"In fact, I thought the performance of the referee, all three officials really, was very incompetent for both teams. He got a lot of decisions wrong and the goals changed the game.

Crewe have scored just 10 goals in 12 npower League One games this term and Davis said: "We created one or two decent openings without really having anyone there who we felt would score a goal. We've had a lot of blanks this season. Because of that, when we do go a goal behind, it's very difficult to get back into the game."

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