UPDATE: The inside track and Portsmouth's latest thoughts over a new manager

The contenders are now narrowing into a very short list to become the next Pompey manager.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:54 am
From left: Neil Harris, Daniel Stendel, Danny Cowley, Matt Taylor

Some names are in, some are out and one or two may still be on the fence when it comes to the job of succeeding Kenny Jackett this season.

The News has been doing its own due diligence over the runners and riders, along with some of the thinking over the way forward at PO4.

And it’s clear things are today accelerating towards one man.

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We’ve broken down the contenders to become the new man at the helm - and what we know over the likelihood of them coming in.

Danny Cowley

As other names fall by the wayside, the Cowley boss remains – and the path is now clear for the former Huddersfield and Lincoln boss.

As the picture begins to crystallise, it’s clear Cowley ticks the boxes Pompey want in Jackett’s successor.

The 42-year-old is available now, without a club so doesn’t cost a penny in compensation and is keen on the Fratton job.

Cowley has been labelled an advocate of a direct brand of football, but closer analysis suggests that tag doesn’t necessarily stand up to inspection.

The Londoner could be appointed quickly and it’s clear that is needed to avoid the season totally drifting away from Pompey.

That is something the board are acutely aware of – and today is set to be a big day in developments.

Potential interest from Charlton and the terms they are prepared offer was a late concern, but the word is the Addicks aren’t keenly pursuing the former PE teacher.

Neil Harris

The former Millwall and Cardiff manager is out when it comes to the kind of short-term appointment Pompey are looking to make.

The News last night revealed Harris was approached by the club on Sunday, but wasn’t keen on the kind of agreement the Blues were looking to pursue.

A longer deal could have changed that picture, but it appears Pompey want to revisit things in the summer when managers currently in positions could be available. All the while the man in situ could be playing himself into a long-term contract if fortunes begin to look up.

Harris undoubtedly has admirers in the Fratton hierarchy, but the reality is he’s unlikely to be the man to get the job with the bookies having it right as his priced drifted significantly on Tuesday evening.

Daniel Stendel

The German certainly wins people’s choice when it comes to Jackett's successor.

There was a lot of early buzz around the 46-year-old from both within the walls of Fratton Park and among the faithful.

The amount of German flags on Twitter profiles told a story of the ex-Barnsley boss’ possible arrival being received excitedly by fans.

Stendel, though, isn’t keen on coming in on an interim basis and has an opportunity in France with AS Nancy.

A League One promotion on his CV was a bonus, as is the kind of high-tempo approach fans would appreciate - but how easy would it be to quickly implement?

A passionate approach is another box tick as underlined by his touchline passion, but the club have done their homework and his antics behind the scenes could well have raised some red flags.

Matt Taylor

Finds himself among the favourites with the bookies and the Pompey hero would love a return to PO4.

Taylor’s name was a slight curveball and the prospect of giving the 39-year-old his first managerial position seems a slightly risking one on the surface of things.

A closer look at his credentials does suggest the notion does warrant greater consideration, however.

The former left-sided player is currently in his second season within the Spurs academy as under-18s coach.

It’s a position which has offered a pathway for Scott Parker which has taken him to the role of Premier League manager with Fulham.

Fulham coach Matt Wells has held the post as has Kieran McKenna, who is now part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team set-up at Manchester United.

There’s little doubt Taylor coming back to Fratton would go down a storm and it would certainly be a progressive, forward-thinking appointment - but the suspicion is Pompey are looking for a little more experience at this stage.

Harry Redknapp

The misty-eyed romanticism made way for minor hysteria when Redknapp announced he would love to come back to Pompey on Tuesday morning.

The fans who will never forgive Redknapp for past misdemeanours were far, far outweighed by those lapping up the thought of an ‘Arry return.

The former Blues boss’ comments on TalkSport were mischievous and more than a little tongue-in-cheek, however.

A Redknapp return isn't a totally ridiculous notion, with the 74-year-old conceivably working well with a younger sidekick in the Matt Taylor mould.

But, despite the love many have for such a thought and his short price with the bookies, the reality is it’s a very long shot.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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