Appleton salutes plucky Pompey
Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton was full of praise for his struggling side as they produced a comfortable 2-0 win over play-off chasing Hull City.
Last Updated: 27/03/12 10:59pm
Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton was full of praise for his struggling side as they produced a comfortable 2-0 win over play-off chasing Hull City at Fratton Park.
The South Coast side moved off the bottom of the Championship as they made it back-to-back home wins with a deserved victory cashing in on their first-half dominance with two goals in four minutes from Chris Maguire and Joel Ward.
Pompey are now only three points from safety and the three points reignited their hopes of a miracle relegation escape.
Appleton said: "I was delighted. It was total dominance from minute one to 95.
"It was the best performance since I have been in charge by an absolute mile. They had one shot on goal and I lost count of the number of chances we had.
"I have never not believed. There are going to be lots of twists and turns and ups and downs in the next seven games. Who knows how many points we will need to stay up?"
Scotland striker Maguire bagged his second strike since moving to Fratton Park on loan from Derby and the 23-year-old forward was a thorn in Hull's side all evening.
And Appleton hailed the man of the match, saying: "I was aware of Chris' qualities long before he came to England at Derby.
"He has had a fantastic night tonight. He really enjoys playing and gets the same kick out of blocking a ball down the line as he does scoring goals.
"He and Luke Varney were the catalyst for the win."
Hull remain two points outside the play-off places and Tigers boss Nick Barmby is worried that a third consecutive defeat represents an untimely slump at a crucial stage of the season.
He said: "Portsmouth were the better team. We were not good enough and they wanted it more than us.
"I apologise to the fans who made the long trip down. It was not us tonight so I am disappointed.
"It is not over and we are still in with a chance (off the play-offs) so we will keep fighting. We will never give it up.
"Whoever is in the team I expect them to give a performance and win."