Holmes: New boss talk is rife

Pompey midfielder Ricky Holmes Picture; Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Ricky Holmes Picture; Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Ricky Holmes admits the identity of the next Pompey manager has become a regular topic of conversation among the players – even if none of them have a clue on where it will lead.

The Blues midfielder is honest enough to reveal that the players discuss the worth of potential candidates, just as supporters tend to do, as they await news from the club’s board on who the next manager will be.

But the former Barnet man insists it is the players who are always the last to learn of managerial appointments.

Holmes said: ‘We’ve probably had eight or nine names thrown at us so far.

‘Some of us have worked with some of the names that have been mentioned.

‘It will be a case of someone saying “I’ve worked with him – he’s alright” or “I worked with him and didn’t like him much”.

‘But we are all up in the air with it as well. We go upstairs and try to get it out of them but they don’t tell us anything.

‘To be fair, they’ve got to get on with their side of the job and so have we.

‘I follow it in the media, follow the odds and have a look to see who is the bookmakers’ favourite.

‘But other than that, we haven’t got a clue.’

Holmes experienced plenty of managerial changes during his time at Barnet and admits he never got an inkling on who the next manager would be.

He said: ‘At Barnet, when they changed the manager, I never knew who was coming in.

‘I never found out once.

‘We always used to have Paul Fairclough as interim manager and then the next day we’d have a new manager and it would be “Where did you come from?”

‘Us players are always the last to know.

‘You just get a knock on the door and you’re told there’s a meeting.

‘Once we had and went into the next room and Martin Allen was standing there all set up.

‘I hadn’t even known he was in for the job at the time.’

While Holmes would prefer to see a new person in place sooner rather than later, he understands it could be delayed.

And he has no issue that the decision is entirely out of the hands of the players.

Holmes said: ‘It would be perfect to have that full week of training because we’ve got 10 days or so without a game after the Wycombe game.

‘They don’t ask us who we’d want and I wouldn’t want the blame if it doesn’t work out.

‘It has to be on their head rather than ours.’

– STEVE WILSON