‘No brainer’: Portsmouth boss candidate gets huge endorsement from Leeds United, Burnley and Bradford City favourite

Former Pompey coach Robbie Blake believes his old side appointing Leam Richardson is a ‘no brainer’.
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The former Premier League star reckons the bookies’ favourite to succeed Danny Cowley ticks every box needed to succeed at Fratton Park.

Richardson is firmly in the running and under consideration for the role as the Blues’ head coach.

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The 43-year-old is out of work after being surprisingly sacked a fortnight after landing a new contract at Wigan, that after guiding the Latics to the League One title last term and keeping the side in the third tier when in administration.

Blake has seen Richardson operate at close quarters in two years at Pompey, which culminated in dramatic League Two title success in 2017.

The ex-Burnley, Leeds and Bradford highlighted the former Blues assistant manager’s attention to detail as a key weapon in his armoury.

Blake said: ‘I think it’s a no brainer.

‘With Leam’s history with the club, he knows the history of Portsmouth and the area.

Leam Richardson. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)Leam Richardson. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)
Leam Richardson. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)
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‘He knows about the passion of the fans and what’s required.

‘He was part of Paul Cook’s reign and I was lucky enough to work with them at the time.

So I know how Leam works day to day. He’s very thorough and very professional.

‘He did a fantastic job at Wigan, when a lot of people wouldn’t have taken the job. It was a brave decision and it worked out well for him.

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‘He has a fantastic family behind who have lived in the area, which always helps.

‘I hope he gets the chance because I think he has the potential to get Portsmouth making giant strides going forward.

‘Leam’s meticulous and very organised.

‘He does his due diligence and is a real student of the game.

‘When I worked with Leam I thought, deep down, once he had the experience he would branch out.

‘He’s done that and been successful.

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‘I think he’s the perfect candidate. He knows the league very well, he knows what it takes to get promoted out of the league which is really important.

‘From the club’s point of view, the size of Portsmouth won’t faze him.

‘He’ll know what’s required and I really think he’d be a great appointment.’

Blake spoke of his surprise at Wigan sacking Richardson in November after his success at the DW Stadium.

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Wigan had found the going tough after reaching the second tier, but new boss Kolo Toure is struggling - losing his past three league games 4-1.

Blake added: ‘Leam was very, very unfortunate and he shouldn’t have lost his job at Wigan.

‘Yes, they weren’t in the best position but we’ve seen them spiral out of control a bit since.

‘You can coach, but from the manager’s point of view you need to get the recruitment right.

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‘He did that at Wigan. He brought the right players in at League One who knew what to do and suited his system. That took them to the title and the Championship.

‘I think he was doing okay in the Championship for where they are budget wise and what they were aiming to do.

‘So he has a sacking on his CV but it should never have been a sacking.

‘He stabilised a club who were sinking and then won the title with them. That speaks volumes of what he is capable of achieving.

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‘You can see now Wigan are suffering. I don’t think they would be in that position if Leam was still there.

‘I had a great relationship with Danny Cowley and it’s disappointing to see him go.

‘But if Portsmouth are looking for someone to come in and get the club moving, I think Leam is their man.’