New boss declares Pompey interest

Former Barnsley manager Mark Robins
Former Barnsley manager Mark Robins
Wes Thomas, right, scored the opening goal in Oxford's 3-0 win over Pompey at the start of the season

Thomas wants U’s to capitalise on Pompey home form

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Mark Robins has joined the queue of managers eager to take the Fratton Park hot seat.

The News can reveal the former Barnsley boss is the latest manager to have declared his interest in the race to replace Steve Cotterill.

Pompey chief executive David Lampitt has been inundated with more than 40 candidates eager to take over the Blues.

Now Robins has joined the likes of Sean O’Driscoll and Aidy Boothroyd in applying for the job.

The 41-year-old had been widely tipped to take over at Bristol City earlier this week.

Instead, St Johnstone’s Derek McInnes got the nod to fill the void left by the departed Keith Millen.

He had also been shortlisted for the Nottingham Forest job, which eventually went to Cotterill.

An impressive record at both Barnsley and Rotherham put him in the frame for both positions.

Robins has earned a reputation in the game for achieving good results working with tight budgets.

In addition, the former Manchester United striker is known for his sides producing entertaining football.

Clearly that was enough to earn him consideration for both the Bristol City and Forest jobs.

And his availability could now make Pompey sit up and take notice.

A former head of youth and then reserve-team manager at Rotherham, the ex-striker became manager in March 2007.

At the time, the Millers were already bottom of League One and on course for relegation to the bottom tier of the Football League pyramid.

In his first full season they finished ninth in League Two, despite receiving 10 points for entering administration.

The second year they finished 11 points off the play-offs – despite being slapped with a 17-point deduction.

During that time, Robins brought Adam Le Fondre to the club.

The striker is nowadays scoring regularly for Reading.

Robins was then appointed Barnsley boss in September 2009, succeeding Simon Davey.

At the time, the Tykes had one point from their opening six games and were adrift at the foot of the table.

He managed to lead them into 18th spot by the season’s end, comfortably staying in the Championship.

Armed with one of the smallest budgets in the league, the following campaign they finished 17th.

It was Barnsley’s highest league finish for 10 years.

They also picked up just two fewer points than Pompey.

However, after almost two years at Oakwell, Robins resigned this summer over differences with the board.

Now he is looking for a return to management.

Pompey have pledged to take their time over the Fratton appointment.

There are certainly plenty of names to consider.

Meanwhile, former Cardiff boss Dave Jones continues to be one of the bookies’ favourites.

Others claimed to be in the running include Iain Dowie, Alan Curbishley and Billy Davies.