Boss ‘flattered’ over Pompey link

Dave Jones was not at Fratton Park on Saturday
Dave Jones was not at Fratton Park on Saturday
Brett Pitman. Picture: Robin Jones

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Dave Jones has admitted he is ‘flattered’ to be linked with the vacant Pompey job.

But The News understands the former Southampton boss is not being considered by the Blues to replace Steve Cotterill.

Jones remains the bookies’ favourite to take the Pompey hot seat.

There were claims he was sighted at Fratton Park on Saturday, hours before the televised clash with Barnsley.

Such rumours have led many to believe his appointment is now imminent.

However, privately, Pompey have already ruled out the 55-year-old as a candidate.

Jones is perceived as an expensive option who would favour bringing in his own coaching team on a large scale.

His Southampton links and whether that would upset sections of the Fratton faithful is also something to consider.

Jones has emerged as a popular early choice among some Blues supporters.

The man who was at the helm at The Dell from 1997-2000 has declined to reveal whether he is interested in the position.

But he did insist it was not him rumoured to be spotted at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Jones told The News: ‘I am flattered to be linked with the job.

‘But I have had no contact with the club whatsoever.

‘That is all I want to say, really.

‘But it definitely wasn’t me seen at Fratton Park on Saturday.

‘I feel sorry for the fella if he looks like me!’

The News understands Sean O’Driscoll is one of those linked with the vacant Pompey job who has applied so far.

According to Blues chief executive David Lampitt, 40 candidates had put their names forward by the weekend to succeed Cotterill, who was unveiled as Nottingham Forest’s new manager yesterday.

The list of applicants is sure to increase as the week goes on.

Other names mentioned as potential appointments include Lee Clark, Mark Robins, Nigel Worthington, Chris Coleman, Billy Davies and Karl Robinson.

However, Lampitt has made it clear it is important the successful applicant should have Championship experience.

Definitely out of the running are current caretaker bosses Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray.

The duo have made it perfectly clear they have no interest in stepping in for Cotterill on a permanent basis.

Instead, they would rather remain as part of the coaching staff.

Whoever is successful, Whittingham believes they will inherit an excellent set-up.

The Blues legend added: ‘We had seven seasons in the Premier League.

‘This is regarded as a good club to go to and a good job to have.

‘I think people have seen that Steve Cotterill did the job of getting the club through the period of administration.

‘The ship is steady.

‘It’s a fantastic job for someone to come into with the base that is here.

‘With the players we have and the supporters behind us, we must be an attractive job to quite a few people.’