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League One

Pompey put boss hunt on backburner

19 November 2012

Portsmouth are unlikely to appoint a manager until a proposed club takeover is completed, according to Pompey Supporters' Trust chairman Ashley Brown.

The npower League One side moved a step closer to exiting administration on Thursday when PKF - led by Trevor Birch - signed a conditional agreement to sell the club to PST.

Pompey have been without a boss since Michael Appleton's departure to Blackpool last month, leaving Guy Whittingham charged with the task of leading the south-coast outfit on a temporary basis.

Former MK Dons and Blackburn boss Paul Ince has been linked with the Fratton Park hotseat, but Brown admits the club are unlikely to make an appointment until the takeover is finalised.

When asked what he knew about a potential approach to the former England international, Brown told Press Association Sport: "Nothing at all, as far as I am concerned, on the Paul Ince rumours.

"We have to face facts because, at the end of the day, the administrator is still in charge and he is at liberty to appoint a manager, although I think from our discussions with them it will be extremely doubtful.

"I think their view is to keep the caretakers in until we take over and decide what to do. We have had some loose, informal discussions around managers, but we haven't had any proper sit downs or the drawing up of a shortlist."

Exiting administration brings a 10-point deduction which would see Portsmouth, who are currently 19th in League One following a six-match losing streak, plummet into the relegation zone.

Brown knows the task in hand, but he is confident the club can beat the drop. "The 10-point deduction is going to make life very tough for us," he said. "We will put a case in front of the Football League as to why we believe that shouldn't be applied. Having said that, we are also realistic and know it is something we will have to face.

"That will make survival very difficult. We have already had one decent run of form this season and we just have to find that again to put a few wins together. We have been in this position before, we have got out of relegation battles before and I'm sure we can do it again."


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