The former Leeds United and Charlton Athletic cornerstone to Portsmouth bosses’ soaring managerial breakthrough

From left to right: Martin Allen, Karl Robinson and Steven Schumacher have all been helping Pompey boss John Mouisinho.From left to right: Martin Allen, Karl Robinson and Steven Schumacher have all been helping Pompey boss John Mouisinho.
From left to right: Martin Allen, Karl Robinson and Steven Schumacher have all been helping Pompey boss John Mouisinho. | The News
From the Plymouth boss to the former West Ham and Pompey favourite - they've all been helping the young head coach.

John Mousinho has highlighted his key influences after a flying start to management.

And the Pompey head coach has pinpointed former Oxford United boss, Karl Robinson, as his major influence as he continues to enjoy Fratton success.

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Mousinho’s presence has been a breath of fresh air through PO4 this year, as he oversees a 27-game league unbeaten run and table-topping start to the 2023-24 campaign.

After spending a career in football, the 37-year-old has picked a vast list of contacts which he's leaned on for advice as he tackles his role.

And Robinson, who Mousinho worked with for five years as a player and coach at the Kassam Stadium, is a go-to number in his phone book.

Mousinho said: ‘Probably the most relevant and biggest person is Karl.

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‘Not so much over the first few weeks because he was still in a job, but certainly when Karl left Oxford I spoke to him quite a bit - and still speak to him quite a bit.

‘You have people who understand what it’s like to be in the role.

'I’ve always said publicly he was a huge influence on me in transitioning from a player to a coach to a head coach. He’s been an invaluable one to lean on.

‘There’s been a couple of others that I didn’t work, but I spoke to Steven Schumacher recently, after they got their really good win against Sheffield Wednesday.

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‘He’s lived it and knows what it’s like to be in this position, so that’s really useful.

‘There’s a couple of those and it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and get bits and bobs from people like that.’

Mousinho has previously highlighted maverick boss Graham Westley as another influence, after working with him at Stevenage and then with Preston in the Championship.

Another familiar face has also figured prominently when it comes to providing a sounding board for the Pompey boss.

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Mousinho explained he took counsel from Martin Allen this summer, ahead of his first full season at the Fratton helm.

He added: ‘In terms of ex-coaches, I spoke to Martin Allen in the summer.

‘We spoke about what it’s like to take this role and my first role as a head coach. That was a really, really good meeting.

‘Martin was the one who gave me my first contract.

‘One of the benefits of speaking to Martin was he didn’t frame it as “I’ve been at Portsmouth, I know this and I know that”.

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‘It was very much about him knowing what it’s like to be a young head coach coming into the role from playing the game.

‘He told me what he’d learned from coming into his first role, to leaving his last role.

‘I have a massive amount of respect for him in terms of what he did and love for him for giving me my first professional contract.

‘That was really good and we still keep in touch on the text.’

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