Portsmouth are on the hunt for a new manager after parting company with Kenny Jackett today.
After nearly four years in charge at Fratton Park, Jackett’s time came to a close following a loss on penalties in the 2020 EFL Trophy final to Salford City.
The club are still looking for promotion to the Championship, and sitting just outside the play-offs they are primed to finish in the top six with a strong end to the season, despite faltering in the semi finals in the last two seasons.
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin revealed that the talks to find Jackett’s success ‘begin today’, and you get the sense that the club are desperate to find the right man to lead them to the Championship not next season, but in a few months time.
Let’s look at three potential candidates that Portsmouth could consider to fill the big shoes that Jackett has left on the south coast.
Cowley would be the obvious choice here as he’s still very highly-rated following his exploits with Lincoln City.
The 2019 move to Huddersfield Town along with his brother Nicky didn’t work out in the end, but that was through no fault of his own as the pair got the Terriers away from relegation trouble to finish 18th in the Championship.
Disagreements with the Huddersfield owner in regards to control over transfers was the apparent reason for the Cowleys’ departure, and they’ve seemingly been biding their time in regards to their next move.
This could be the perfect opportunity to them – a sleeping giant of League One who are in a good position for promotion back to the second tier – and it would also be a big statement of intent.
Quiz: Were each of these 20 former Portsmouth players left or right footed?
A prolific striker for Millwall in his heyday, Harris transferred his playing talents to the dugout when becoming manager of the Lions in 2015.
Harris had to suffer a relegation at first with his beloved club, but he got them back into the Championship and finished eighth with them in their first season back at the level, but departed in October 2019 after a poor previous season and an less-than spectacular start to the 2019/20 campaign.
He found his feet though at Cardiff City last season as he became the surprise replacement for Neil Warnock, and he guided the Bluebirds into the play-offs by the end of the season, although they fell to Fulham eventually.
Harris is more-than capable of taking over a top League One club though following his sacking from the Welsh side a few months ago, and he may be one of the ideal candidates should he apply.
This may be a potential left-field one, but McInnes has just left Aberdeen after nearly eight years in charge at Pittodrie, and he has managerial experience in England with Bristol City.
McInnes had a win percentage of over 50% at Aberdeen but truth be told, the club probably needed a change at the top after a complete collapse in form.
That’s not to say that McInnes isn’t a good manager though – he clearly is – and he will no doubt be coveted by a number of English clubs, perhaps in the Championship, should he wait it out that long.
But Portsmouth could do a lot worse than ask the question of McInnes in regards to being their new boss.