Pompey managerial hunt hotting up

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman
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From left to right: Jamal Lowe, Adam May, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke after Pompey's loss to Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 0 Blackpool 2: they said what?

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The plot today thickened in the Pompey managerial drama.

Former Blues favourite Kit Symons has been touted for an emotional return to Fratton Park in a link-up with Chris Coleman.

Meanwhile, Burnley boss Eddie Howe and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer emerged as surprise names in the frame to become Steve Cotterill’s successor.

Symons, who made 231 appearances in his time with Pompey, has spoken of his passion for the club and how he would one day love to return.

But Aidy Boothroyd’s hopes of becoming the new man in charge appear to be dwindling.

As does the talk linking Molde boss Solksjaer with a move to Fratton Park.

Vladimir Antonov, who was reportedly in Norway interviewing the former Manchester United striker, appeared in the directors’ box for the clash against Doncaster, while the Molde chairman dismissed any suggestion of a move to the Blues.

Howe’s name as a contender would be a shock after he moved from Bournemouth to Burnley in January.

Sources in the north believe he is keen to stay on at Turf Moor and continue the job he started there after an indifferent opening to the campaign.

But The News understands he could consider a move to Pompey if he was on their wanted list.

There have been murmurs of discontent among Clarets fans at the job Howe has carried out.

A large barrier, however, would be the compensation needed to cover the remainder of the three-and-a-half deal he inked with Burnley.

An intriguing prospect for Pompey fans, though, would be Symons working as an assistant to his former Fulham defensive partner Coleman as the new man in charge.

Coleman is currently in charge of Greek side Larissa after joining them in May, while Symons is working with Fulham’s Academy.

Symons underlined his happiness where he is at present but admitted he would one day welcome a return to Pompey.

He said: ‘I’m loving my job at Fulham, but Portsmouth is the club I hold dear to me still.

‘I’ve heard the speculation. There’s a lot, especially when a good job like the one at Pompey is up for grabs.

‘I’ve not spoken to anyone, though. I’m doing the under-18s at Fulham and really enjoying that.

‘You never know in football. I’m not one for making big plans, because weird and wonderful things happen in this game.

‘What I will say is I’m enjoying my role at Fulham. I wouldn’t rule out coming back to Portsmouth one day, though, because it’s a club I love.’

Chief executive David Lampitt is pushing on with the process of searching for the new Pompey boss after Cotterill left last week.

But it is understood Boothroyd is not seen as the man who can take the team forward.

Boothroyd threw his name into the ring this week and has applied for the post, while Mark Robins has also declared his interest in the position.

Sean O’Driscoll remains the bookies’ favourite for the role after he was interviewed last week.

Dave Jones was an early contender for the position but is not seen as the man to succeed Cotterill.