Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Grant is Portsmouth’s best man: Mandaric

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant is being backed to lift Portsmouth up the table after it was confirmed he will succeed Paul Hart at Fratton Park.

Hart was sacked on Tuesday with the club rooted to the foot of the Premier League with only seven points from 13 games.

Grant will take charge for the first time on Saturday for the home game against Manchester United.

Former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, now in a similar role at Leicester City, believes the 54-year-old is the right man for the job.

“I am delighted for Avram and the supporters as they deserve a team in the Premier League,” said Mandaric.

“He is the best solution. He is a very proud man, who has ability and experience.

“Portsmouth have enough good players and with Avram organising them they have a good chance of getting out of trouble. I hope that is the case.”

Grant will no doubt be hoping to turn the tables on United as his last game in charge of Chelsea was the Champions League final of 2008.

It ended in agony for the Israeli with his side losing on penalties in Moscow.

Portsmouth have no doubts Grant can rally the players.

Chief executive officer Peter Storrie said: “Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level.

“The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone.

“He knows the club, the players and the set-up at Fratton Park, so it was the logical move to make him the manager.”

Former England midfielder Paul Merson, who had a spell at Portsmouth, fears for the club's status.

He said: “I am shocked and surprised. They had a great team spirit even though they were bottom. This could go completely the other way and turn things upside down.”

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