Ex-Portsmouth manager candidate Neil Harris on Danny Cowley's 'great opportunity' and Kenny Jackett's departure

Kenny Jackett couldn’t have too many complaints about his Pompey departure.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:00 pm

And Neil Harris reckons the Cowley brothers have ‘a great opportunity’ to lead the Blues into the League One play-offs after surveying the remaining 11 fixtures of the season.

Jackett was relieved of his duties at Fratton Park following the defeat to Salford in the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley earlier this month.

Danny and Nicky Cowley were announced as his successor on Friday evening and got off to the perfect start with a 2-1 defeat of Ipswich less than 24 hours later.

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The 43-year-old worked under Jackett during his playing days at Millwall, with the pair earning promotion to the Championship in 2010.

Although Harris would have liked his former boss to have been given until the end of the season to turn around the Blues’ fortunes, he could understand why Jackett’s time at PO4 was cut short.

Speaking to The EFL Show on talkSPORT 2, Harris said: ‘Kenny, as we know, is a man with integrity and class.

Neil Harris. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

‘I obviously played under him for a good few years and he is a top manager, as well as an extremely talented coach.

‘I learnt so much from him but how long had he been there, nearly four years.

‘There were a close couple of play-off campaigns, a close couple of cup finals and they missed out to finish in the top two last year maybe because of the points per game (when the season was curtailed amid the coronavirus crisis).

‘Maybe his time was just up. I'd have liked to have seen him stay until the end of the season and see it through but I don't think there has been too much complaint about making the call now.’

Pompey head coach Danny Cowley, right, and Nicky Cowley. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s final 11 games of the campaign can be regarded as favourable given the league position of their opponents.

Only Accrington, who the Blues still have to play twice, sit in the top half of the table.

Harris believes that is a big advantage to the Cowleys.

The former Cardiff chief added: ‘It's a great opportunity for Danny and Nicky going in, especially when you look at the fixtures.

‘Accrington are just below them in the league but everyone else is in the bottom half of the division. I'm not saying they're easy games and you're going to win them because a lot of them have got something to play for.

‘But if your team is fit, you've got people like Johnny Marquis fit, you have probably got better players than your opponents and should win more games than you don't.

‘Danny and Nicky are very astute and will know the players. They know the division.’

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