by Mark Storey
Michael Appleton believes just one or two of Pompey’s players will still be at Fratton Park next season.
The Blues boss is planning a mass overhaul ahead of next season’s League One campaign.
The Pompey side that runs out for the first game of the 2012/13 season promises to be unrecognisable from the one that lost 2-0 at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Appleton needs to bring in transfer fees and slash the wage bill. But he also wants fresh blood.
He said: “I would be very surprised if there are more than one or two players still here at the club next season.
“It could be as big as 17 or 18 players leaving the football club and the same number coming in. It’s going to be a tough, tough, summer with a lot of hard work.”
Jason Pearce and Greg Halford were at the City Ground with their team-mates but were not part of the squad.
As well as 18-year-old Ashley Harris in the starting line-up, Pompey had four teenagers – Alex Grant, Jed Wallace, Sam Magri and Adam Webster – on the bench.
Appleton said: “There are agreements in place with various clubs over Greg and Jason that they wouldn’t play the game, which we had to abide to, because we need to recoup the money for their services.
“Bejani, Dave Kitson and Kanu didn’t travel to the game. Their future has to be away from Fratton Park, or this football club won’t be able to survive, it’s as simple as that. They have known that for a long, long time.
“Those youngsters I included in the squad will certainly be on the fringe of the squad next year, but there will also be a lot of new faces.
“Hopefully I can build and mould a squad for those fanatical fans to be proud of.”
Pompey matched Forest until Dexter Blackstock scored 20 minutes from time. The striker added a second in the 89th minute.
Appleton said: “There was nothing in the game. We just had one lapse in concentration from a young player, Ashley Harris, who is going to have a great future at the football club, that cost us for their first goal.
“But the bulk of the half-chances probably fell to us. It was important that the players applied themselves, and they did that.
“The fans were amazing again and are going to play a massive part in this football club trying to get back where it was.”