Still looking – Pompey opponents now two months managerless

Wes Thomas scores for Oxford against Pompey earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Wes Thomas scores for Oxford against Pompey earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
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It was two months today when Pep Clotet was dismissed as Oxford United manager.

And the U’s are still searching for a replacement as they prepare to visit Fratton Park.

Certainly the long-running situation has caught the eye of Kenny Jackett, with a caretaker counterpart to lock horns with.

Derek Fazackerley has overseen Oxford since Clotet’s departure following 205 days in office.

Stepping up from assistant head coach, he has mustered two victories from eight matches, leaving them in the present position of 16th.

Karl Robinson has this week been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the Kassam Stadium job, yet he remains employed by Charlton.

It has been reported he last week twice handed in his notice at The Valley, only for owner Roland Duchatelet to reject it.

In the meantime, there’s a televised match to prepare for at Fratton Park on Sunday (4pm). And the Blues’ opposition are still without a permanent manager.

Jackett said: ‘It will be interesting what happens this week in terms of the managerial appointment.

‘But they are a side that have quite a lot of talent in their ranks and are established in League One.

‘They also had a very good 2-1 win at home to Peterborough last weekend.

‘Earlier this season we faced them in my third match in charge and it was disappointing, we can’t complain about the 3-0 result.

‘I thought they deservedly won, particularly the second half when they just had too much power for us. It was a wake-up call for the division, really.

‘The substitutes they brought on took the game away from us on that occasion. They were the better side on that particular day.’

Wes Thomas, Gino van Kessel and Josh Ruffels were the Oxford scorers on that August afternoon in Pompey’s second League One fixture.

Goal-scoring substitute Van Kessel will miss the Fratton Park re-match to serve on international duty for Curacao against Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Thomas limped off against Peterborough last weekend having received a whack, yet is expected to be fit on Sunday.

As for Ruffels, he was an unused substitute in that 2-1 victory.

He last started a match on February 13.