Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton has been reflecting on his time in charge of the Imps Tuesday night opponents Portsmouth.
Appleton spent a year in charge of Pompey between 2011 and 2012, but his spell was plunged into turmoil soon after he took the job when the owners CSI fell into administration taking the club with them.
Despite receiving two ten-point deductions, Appleton nearly led Pompey to a great escape, taking their Championship relegation fight to the penultimate game of the campaign before they eventually dropped into League One.
Before he left for Blackpool, Appleton dealt with having to loan out his best players to cut the wage bill and saw the owner arrested in a troubled twelve months for the club, but despite the trying circumstances, Appleton has fond memories of his spell at Fratton Park. Speaking to Lincolnshire Live on the eve of taking his new charges to his former club for a crucial League One fixture he said: ‘As crazy as it was, I enjoyed it. I spoke to Neil Allen, who writes for the local press down there, recently. We were reminiscing about some of the things that went on. It was crazy.’
‘But as difficult as it was, with everything that was going on, I did enjoy my time down there.’
There were good people, the staff were fantastic and the fans were incredible.
“It was almost an impossible job at times. Sometimes you find yourself at the right place but at the wrong time.’
Lincoln head into the match seriously short of cover in central defence after Cian Bolger was given a straight red during Friday night’s dull 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury, but they will face a Pompey side short on confidence after a terrible start to the season.
Current Pompey boss Kenny Jackett is under-severe pressure after their latest defeat to Wimbledon. The atmosphere at Fratton Park could turn toxic if his side struggle against a Lincoln team that is continuing to adapt to life without the Cowley brothers, who left the Imps for Huddersfield Town last month.
Many Pompey fans still hold Appleton in high regard for the job he did at the club under chaotic circumstances.
Indeed, some fans would rather he was in their dugout instead of the current seemingly hapless occupant.
Kenny Jackett is under intense pressure, and if Appleton leaves his old ground with three points, it could well mean the end of Jackett’s reign at Fratton Park.
However, with his defensive troubles, Appleton would probably be happy with a point, and we expect a cagey nervous game with a draw the most likely outcome, a result which would no doubt do nothing to ease the pressure on Jackett.