Appleton sets Ashdown challenge
Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton admits first-choice goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown was a target for Millwall.
Last Updated: 24/03/12 10:56pm
Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton admits Jamie Ashdown was wanted by Millwall, but is now looking to hang on to the goalkeeper beyond this season.
Ashdown had been No.2 to Stephen Henderson at Fratton Park for much of the campaign and was recently a loan target for Championship rivals Millwall.
Appleton was prepared to let Ashdown move on, but had to scrap that plan when Henderson joined West Ham United on loan instead.
With Ashdown now Pompey's first choice again, Appleton has laid down a challenge for the long-serving keeper, who is out of contract in the summer.
"Before the Stephen one came about, I had a very brief conversation with Kenny Jackett regarding Jamie," said Appleton in The News.
"At the time, I thought if Jamie did go there it would have been an opportunity for me to free up an outfield player as a loan. But the Stephen thing came about very quickly so I had to pull the plug on that one.
"There's no way I could have let him go.
"Jamie's been frustrated himself. No-one likes to be a No.2 but he's responded well enough.
"He's experienced. He's played Premier League football and he's been in and around some very good keepers with great experience.
"At the end of the day, he's the same as most players. So it's up to him to prove he wants a contract beyond this season no matter what division we're in.
"If he does, we'll sit down and have a chat about that. If he doesn't, we'll try to do the best by the football club and get other people in."