Opinion: Wycombe's Gareth Ainsworth or Rotherham's Paul Warne would be good for Portsmouth - if permanent manager decision is held off until end of season

Gareth Ainsworth and Paul Warne are two managers Pompey should keep an eye on – if the Fratton Park outfit decide to wait until the summer to find a permanent replacement for Kenny Jackett.

By Mark McMahon
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:06 pm

That’s the verdict of News writers Neil Allen and Will Rooney as they discussed the Blues’ current managerial search in the latest episode of Pompey Talk: The Podcast.

Pompey are on the lookout for new leadership after Jackett departed on Sunday.

Neil Harris, Daniel Stendel, Matt Taylor and Danny Cowley are all believed to have been spoken to by the club since then, while The News understands others, as yet unnamed, have also been contracted.

A stumbling block for many, though, is the length of contract on offer.

Pompey would prefer a short-term appointment, with the view to assess their options again in the summer.

However, it’s not the ideal situation for some of those who have held talks about the vacant position.

It’s left the Blues in a quandary.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

But if a decision is made to hold fire until after the season, then our two reporters believe the likes of Wycombe boss Ainsworth and Rotherham manager Warne – both currently under contract at their respective Championship clubs – would, in their opinions, make ideal candidates.

Allen said: ‘Someone who intrigues me would be Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe.

‘Now, I've no idea if he's applied for the job, I'm just talking about him as a manager.

‘I know some fans wouldn't like him with his style of football, but he's done a phenomenal job at Wycombe.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne. Picture: James Chance/Getty Images

‘Now, the likelihood is Wycombe could be relegated from the Championship and be back in League One.

‘Does he want to keep staying there, we don't know.

‘But he's done a phenomenal job there, he knows how to build teams who are up for it and with no money whatsoever at Wycombe, let's face it.

‘He knows how to get success, he a big character, a personable character, he's played at big clubs so knows pressure as well - why not someone like him, for example?

‘For me, let's have a look at him in the summer, if Pompey are looking at managers in the summer - if he's interested.

‘I know fans will say his style of football is not great, but it's the tools he has to work with at Wycombe - free transfers, loans, players not wanted at any other football club in the league. He's made them into a band of brothers.

‘So, perhaps, if he went to another club with greater facilities, greater finances, better players, he might produce a better, expansive brand of football and improve in that respect.

‘It's what he is at that football club. So, for me, why not somebodylike him.

‘You have to look around and not get obsessed with "oh, I don't like how he did at that football club in terms of football”.

‘You know, it might work out better at Pompey, you don't know.’

Ainsworth guided Wycombe to the Championship via the play-offs last season. They are currently bottom of the second tier.

Warne’s Rotherham, meanwhile, sit third from bottom. He’s led them to two League One promotions after being pointed permanent Millers boss in January 2017.

Rooney said: ‘Paul Warne I'll say for me, is another one who as done well at Rotherham - got two promotions there.

‘Maybe if he was at a bigger club he'd be able to sustain them in the Championship.

‘I know he's another one who has real good team spirit.

‘Ryan Williams, who was obviously there, said he was a great manager to work under, so that would be an interesting one for me if Pompey are to hold fire until the summer and get a caretaker in.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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