On this day: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp gets go-ahead to pursue Newcastle midfielder

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On this day in 2005, Pompey wanted to bring back midfielder Amdy Faye – despite Milan Mandaric’s doubts over his commitment in his first spell at Fratton Park.

Mandaric was unhappy with Faye’s attitude when he quit Pompey for Newcastle earlier that year.

But he was prepared put that to one side to show his support for Harry Redknapp’s managerial judgement.

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And in a further sign of commitment to his new manager, Mandaric was allowing Redknapp to bring Kevin Bond back to the Blues.

Bond appeared poised to replace Christophe Galtier as Pompey’s assistant boss.

Faye had just broken back into the Newcastle starting line-up in their past two Premiership games.

Injuries to Kieron Dyer and Emre had given Faye his chance.

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Harry Redknapp was keen to bring Amdy Faye back to Fratton ParkHarry Redknapp was keen to bring Amdy Faye back to Fratton Park
Harry Redknapp was keen to bring Amdy Faye back to Fratton Park | JPIMedia

Newcastle boss Graeme Souness publicly defended the Senegal international after he was criticised by supporters.

But Toon chairman Freddie Shepherd was considering doing business in January if the Magpies could bring in another midfielder.

Mandaric, who was close friends with Shepherd, was unhappy with Faye’s eagerness to quit Pompey ahead of his £2m switch to St James’ Park in January 2005.

He told The News at the time: ‘I haven’t spent much time talking about players with Harry. But I know he likes Amdy Faye.

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‘My problem with Amdy Faye was that he didn’t play in every game for us.

‘But it’s Harry’s call. If he wants him, I will support him when the time comes.’

Redknapp remained a big fan of Faye – a player he signed for Pompey in a £1.5m deal from Auxerre in August 2003.

But the deal would have a chance of getting off the ground only if Pompey still had a realistic chance of survival.

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Mandaric and Redknapp believed it would not be worth splashing out if Pompey got further cut adrift before January than the six points they already were.

Everything hinged on three home games in 15 days against West Brom, West Ham and Fulham that December.

Mandaric addec: ‘If we don’t do well in them, then we’ll have to look at the situation.

‘As Harry Redknapp has said, what is the point of spending the money if we are too far adrift?

‘But if we do well, then we will start looking for players.

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‘We know we need a striker. That is a no-brainer. What we need to weigh up is where else we need help.’

Bond’s relationship with Southampton caretaker-manager Dave Bassett was said to have soured following Redknapp’s departure from St Mary’s.

He was the previous week sent home by chairman Rupert Lowe.

Mandaric confirmed: ‘Harry has his loyalties and likes Kevin Bond.

‘It’s natural to want to have people around you that you know and trust. So we’ll be looking at that in the next few days.’

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