Former Millwall and Cardiff manager in the frame as Portsmouth start manager hunt

Pompey are this afternoon laying down their blueprint to find Kenny Jackett’s successor.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 3:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th March 2021, 3:28 pm

And Neil Harris has emerged an early contender to become the new man at the helm after Jackett’s exit earlier today.

The News understands there is strong support for the former Millwall and Cardiff manager within the corridors of power at Fratton Park.

And the 43-year-old represents the kind of passionate, younger appointment who ticks the boxes for what the Blues are looking for.

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Harris has been out of work since leaving Cardiff in January, after 15 months in which he guided the Bluebirds to the Championship play-offs.

The former striker also has a promotion to the second tier via the play-offs on his CV as well as a play-off final defeat, in a four-and-a-half year stint with Millwall.

Assistant manager Joe Gallen looks set to take the team for Tuesday’s trip to high-flying Peterborough along with first-team coach Jake Wigley, as Pompey assemble their plans for the way forward.

Neil Harris (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

It remains unclear whether the club will go for an interim appointment or move to land a long-term manager immediately, although it’s clear many of the men they would look to target are likely to want the security of a longer contract.

Many supporters are dreaming of luring Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder to PO4, after his exit from Bramall Lane this week.

Such a move appears highly unlikely, however, with Wilder’s stock through the roof after guiding the Blades from the bottom of League One to fifth in the Premier League last season.

That’s a world away from when he was interviewed for the Pompey job in 2013 when Oxford United manager, while his salary is in a different stratosphere to what the club would realistically pay. That’s underlined by the reported £7m pay-off he’s set to earn after leaving his last role.

Neil Harris (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Danny Cowley is an early front-runner among the bookies, but the man who guided Lincoln to such success is known for the brand of football many Pompey fans pilloried Jackett for.

Charlton’s Lee Bowyer is another manager being touted for the position and has his fans among the Blues hierarchy, although there are some doubts about how his outspoken approach would be received by the Eisners.

Michael Appleton is a manager who fits the bill and there’s little doubt he would be keen on a Pompey return, but the 45-year-old recently signed a four-year deal with high-flying Lincoln.

Plymouth’s Ryan Lowe, Cheltenham manager Michael Duff and former Wales boss Chris Coleman are other names to have been mentioned at this early stage.

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