McGhee stakes his Pompey claim

Former Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee
Former Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Mark McGhee has confirmed his interest in the Pompey manager’s job.

But The News can reveal both Billy Davies and Steve McClaren are not in the running.

As it stands, Sean O’Driscoll remains among the leading contenders.

Eddie Howe, Mark Robins and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also remain names linked with Fratton Park.

In the meantime, former Brighton boss McGhee is the latest boss to throw his hat into the ring.

He was in the Fratton directors’ box on Saturday to watch the clash with Doncaster.

McGhee admitted his presence was partly a scouting mission on behalf of Scotland boss Craig Levein.

However, he was also an interested spectator, having applied for the Blues job last week.

The 54-year-old is currently without a club after leaving Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen last December.

Before then he won promotion with Reading, Millwall and Brighton into the Championship.

McGhee also took Motherwell into Europe.

And he told The News the Pompey position is one which definitely interests him.

He said: ‘I am doing a little bit for Craig Levein at the moment, that is why I was at Fratton Park on Saturday.

‘But certainly, through my representative, I have made it known to Pompey I am interested in the job there.

‘On Saturday I was not under any invite from Portsmouth.

‘I have not had any direct communication with the club other than through my representative.

‘Although, as well as scouting, I also wanted to watch the game and see what it all looked like.

‘I have been out long enough now. I’m looking to go back in and Portsmouth certainly is something that really interests me.

‘I am a football coach, a tracksuit manager, who is used to working with tight budgets.

‘At Motherwell I got us into Europe on no budget. That is as good as a promotion in Scotland.

‘For me, everything about Portsmouth is right. And it is a level I know really well having achieved plenty at before.’

Meanwhile, The News understands neither Davies or McClaren have applied for the hot seat.

Davies, in particular, has won the support of a number of Pompey fans. He impressed at Forest, taking them to the play-offs in his first season.