Let’s get imaginative

Huddersfield Town's manager Lee Clark is a popular option for Pompey fans
Huddersfield Town's manager Lee Clark is a popular option for Pompey fans
Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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Pompey fans are a knowledgeable bunch.

So maybe the Blues should pay some attention to those who have overwhelmingly voted Lee Clark as their choice to be the man to take their club forward.

Our recent poll at portsmouth.co.uk saw readers vote in their tens of thousands for the man they want to succeed Steve Cotterill.

And the results were interesting. Very interesting.

Clark polled 39 per cent of the overall vote, making him the big favourite among the Fratton faithful.

That figure was nearly double his nearest rival Alan Curbishley, who attracted 20 per cent of the total.

The job Clark has carried out at Huddersfield in his first managerial post is highly impressive.

Last season, he took the Terriers to the play-off final before losing out to Peterborough. And this time around his side are unbeaten in League One.

Clark operates with the kind of passion, too, which would go down a storm with Pompey punters.

Anyone who saw his recent barney with the Stevenage coaching staff would agree on that.

Importantly, he is the kind of boss who could come in and command the respect of experienced players with Premier League experience, having carved out a career at the top level.

It would be a test for Pompey to tempt south a man who once said there was only one club he would leave Newcastle for – Gateshead.

Huddersfield are also in the midst of a record-breaking 39-game unbeaten run.

It would ask questions of Pompey’s financial muscle as to whether they could bring him in.

But it’s clear what is needed now is an appointment that can galvanise a proud club and inject a renewed sense of energy and direction.

Clark is one of the few names on a less-than-exciting list of contenders who ticks those boxes.

It’s a fair chance an updated list of runners and riders on a fans’ vote would see Ole Gunnar Solskjær feature prominently.

Weekend talk of a move for the former Manchester United hero certainly excited many supporters.

Why? Because, it’s a appointment which speaks of imagination.

Whether it is likely is quite another matter, however.

There are plenty of obstacles in the path of a move for the man who is close to managing Molde to the Norwegian Tippeligaen title.

Firstly, David Lampitt has expressed a preference for a man with Championship experience.

And then there is the word from Norway that Solskjær is not keen on the position.

Molde chairman Erik Berg has knocked down suggestion of a move, and Solskjær has expressed a lack of willingness to take his children out of Norwegian education.

On top of that, the now ageing Baby-Faced Assassin has intimated it would take a top-line job in the north to even consider a return to England.

Perhaps that road is a dead end then.

It’s a clear run to current bookies’ favourite Sean O’Driscoll, though, after he was interviewed last week.

O’Driscoll is available and would not require compensation being paid to secure his services.

Furthermore, it has emerged the former Doncaster boss was a favoured option before Cotterill was appointed.

Lampitt was active in that process and, obviously, is carrying heavy sway this time, too.

With the current owners acutely aware of the gripes about the football Cotterill played, O’Driscoll’s philosophies weigh in his favour, too.

He isn’t a man to stir supporters, though, after polling just six per cent in our vote.

It’s clearly not an appointment which screams ambition.

Maybe, that’s a tad harsh on a man who has delivered lower-league promotions on tight budgets at Bournemouth and Doncaster, but that’s how he is seen.

Don’t bet against another of the contenders to emerge from down the betting list in the coming days either, as the interviewing process continues.

What is clear is recent attendances at Fratton, if not apathetic, suggest a growing indifference to the way the season is going.

So an appointment which can bring a united sense of purpose and hope to a club with dreams of brighter horizons is what is needed now.