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Appleton resigned to best players leaving Portsmouth as relegation confirmed

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton fully expects the club's best players to leave after their relegation to League One was confirmed. "It's a sad day for Portsmouth and a frustrating one from my point of view," Appleton told BBC Radio Solent.

"I am not confident of keeping hold of the better players at the club and it would be naive to think otherwise."

"There is a lot that needs to be changed, especially the wage structure and we cannot cope with it as it is."

Pompey's attempts to beat the drop were always going to be more difficult once they were given a 10-point penalty deduction for entering administration.

"We need to re-group and have a think about what needs to be done for next season," he added.

"It's frustrating because from my point of view I can't offer someone a new contract or tell them if they will be here next season because we don't have owners.

"If players are out of contract at other clubs likewise I can't offer them contracts, but what I can do is make it personal.

"I'll be driving up and down the country doing that over the next few weeks. That's the only way I'm going to get players to play for Portsmouth.

"We are going to be one of the biggest fish in the league and I'm sure we'll have fantastic support next season as we have done this year and hopefully that will be enough to attract players."

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Dave Williams

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