The Hawks have named former Pompey striker Lee Bradbury as their new manager.
The 37-year-old has agreed a two-year full-time contract after the club sacked previous boss Stuart Ritchie two weeks ago.
Ritchie’s reign lasted just 10 games but an embarrassing exit from the FA Cup and just one win in the league prompted chairman Derek Pope to act.
Bradbury, who was sacked by League One outfit Bournemouth in March, is relishing the challenge of improving the Hawks’ fortunes.
And in a surprise move, ex-Hawks manager Shaun Gale returns as Bradbury’s assistant manager.
‘It is good to get back involved again with a club that has ambition,’ said Bradbury.
‘As a club they have already come a long way in the past few years and they want to do things right.
‘At the moment they are second from bottom but with a bit of confidence and direction will soon start to climb the league.
‘It is a good time to come in because there are still plenty of games to play.
‘The league is so tight, all you need are a few wins to be pushing at the top end.
‘I am determined that things should be done right at the club.
‘My priority is to ensure good levels of professionalism, making sure we are organised on and off the pitch.
‘I was in the army for four years and had discipline installed into me.
‘Shaun Gale is ideal as my number two because he knows this league, the players, and has been a terrific ambassador for the club in all his different roles.’
Bradbury starts his new job with a difficult trip to Hampshire neighbours Basingstoke Town on Saturday.
– KEVIN RICKETTS