Tag Archives: Neil Harris

Portsmouth aPPOINT Danny Cowley as new boss

Portsmouth FC, who are currently looking for a new manager, have gone strangely quiet on this topic in the last few days. Joe Gallen, was the Interim coach for Tuesday night’s game at Peterborough.

The club, however, say they have had a number of applications, but despite their being several names linked to the job, two appear to have rules themselves out completely. Those being Neil Harris and Daniel Stendel. This was on the basis of the appointment Portsmouth are keen on, which is short term until the end of the season. While both Harris and Stendel, wanted longer term contracts.

All of which has apparently left the path clear for the Cowley Brothers. Danny and Nicky Cowley, who have been out of work since leaving Huddersfield. It is understood the club have held extensive talks with the pair and have named them as new coaches of Pompey until the end of the season.

It is not understoood what role if any Joe Gallen will play in the new set up. Gallen has been Kenny Jackett’s right hand man, for several years, but in the wake of Jacketts departure, he was put in sole charge. And judging by the way he donned more formal clothing on Tuesday sees himself as a candidate, but with the Cowleys set to be appointed it might be a different picture.

Fan Excitement

Will the Cowleys appointment give the fans excitement? They certainly were not the coaches that perhaps many were expecting, however, they are still none the less very successful at lower league level

Every club they have been with since starting out at Concord Rangers they have improved and more importantly from Portsmouth’s view, achieved promotion to a higher league.

Their last notable success was with Lincoln City, before the Cowleys’ appointment Lincoln were a non-league side, but under the Cowleys they got promoted back into the Football League & subsequently gained promotion to League One.

This success attracted Huddersfield Town to come calling. The Brothers then left Lincoln, who at the time were riding high in League One to take over at the Yorkshire based club. Sadly for them despite saving The Terriers from relegation, the Cowleys were sacked and have been out of work ever since.


Right now though they may not star names as some other managers are, but if they bring success to Pompey and achieve promotion to the Championship then the Fratton Faithful will be very happy indeed!

The brand of football the Cowleys will bring to Pompey is expansive and attacking so you can be sure given the talented squad the South Coast club have, in my opinion if not automatic promotion, then at the very least the play offs are a certainty. Either way though it is going to be a very exciting end to the season for the club.

Do you think Pompey will be promoted to the Championship at the end of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…..

Portsmouth’s MANAGERIAL dILemma

Portsmouth Football Club hot on the heels of losing the EFL Check A Trade Trophy Final to Salford on Saturday are now facing a managerial dilemma

Following the shock loss to Salford City on Saturday Kenny Jackett, the first team manager departed the club.

Many die hard Pompey fans will tell you its been long over due. This author, however, was in the camp of seeing what happens at the seasons end That though proved to be a false hope after the result on Saturday

Portsmouth were devoid of ideas and persisted in trying to go through Salford’s packed midfield, which clearly failed to work. When they did finally open the midfield up, they had joy in getting crosses in.

But that digresses from the point…

This brings us to Pompey’s managerial dilemma…

Following Kenny Jackett’s departure his trusted assistant Joe Gallen is in temporary charge for tonights game at Peterborough.

Gallen, according to the clubs website has the job on a game by game basis, while they interview prospective new managers

The dilemma is ultimately of the South-Coast Club’s own making according to Mark Caitlin the CEO

It is like this, Portsmouth are currently just outside the League One play -offs in seventh position. This is because other results went against them on Saturday. There is still 13 games left to play in the 2020/21 season Caitlin has stated that the post is attracting plenty of interest.

So, with this in mind, do they stick with Joe Gallen until the end of the current campaign? Appoint an Interim manager and then weigh up their options again in the summer? Or confirm a permanent manager now and go for it?

Of the many linked names with the vacancy these are just a few of the names that stand out:

Potential Candidates

Daniel Stendel you might recall was in charge of Barnsley, when they got promoted from League One and he got them playing some super football.

He led the Reds to promotion to the Championship at the first attempt as well as winning the EFL League One Manager of The Year award.

This subsequently attracted the attention of Hearts and Stendel was tempted north of the Border to the Scottish Premiership, against the back drop of the Scottish clubs troubles at that time.

Currently now out of work, it is thought he has been interviewed for the job. The sticking point seems to be the length of the contract Portsmouth are offering, as discussed above.

Add into the equation, the fact that AS Nancy in France are also very keen on him and willing to offer him a longer term contract, then it becomes a real dilemma for Portsmouth and one that is of their own making

There are of course other names in the frame, such as Neil Harris, but he is unlikely to excite fans despite the fact that he got Millwall promoted from the Championship.

Danny Cowley, is another linked name, but has previously stated he wants to manager in the Championship following his time at Huddersfield Town.

On the other hand, Cowley has said that he would like the chance to take Pompey there. They are after all: a big club, great history, superb fan base and Cowley has a more than impressive CV, which until the Huddersfield appointment was littered with success and numerous promotions.

So, with all that said what do Portsmouth do? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below….

Potential Candidates to Replace Glyn Hodges

AFC Wimbledon are starting their search today to find a replacement for the departed Glyn Hodges.

Given that in the past, the Dons have gone for relatively untried managers, albeit good coaches, with experience of coaching development sides or Under 23 levels

It is understood that this time, appointing a manager with proven league experience would be an advantage, one with a track record of winning promotion would be even better

So who are the potential managerial candidates to replace Gly Hodges

In no particular order:

Danny Cowley

Cowley recently left his post as Huddersfield coach, but who til that point had a very good track record with Concord Rangers, Baraintree Town and then Lincoln City, who he guided into the Football League, then subsequently got them into League One, before being lured to Huddersfield and saved them from Relegation

Ian Holloway

His last managerial post was at Grimsby, but he left there, with a takeover imminent, as he felt the new owners were not being ethical

Grimsby was his first lower league appointment for a few years, since being at Blackpool, but he brings a wealth of managerial expertise gained at Crystal Place QPR and similar locations

Neil Harris

A former manager of Wimbledons South London Rivals Millwall, with who he did a good job taking them from League One into the Championship on a shoestring budget, before being lured to Cardiff City, where sadly for him, things didn’t work out.

Joey Barton

Recently departed from Fleetwood Town, but in terms of league experience, has just 18 months at Fleetwood to show for it, but the downside is, he has a hair trigger temper, which doesn’t fit in with the family run image that AFC Wimbledon has.

Who ever Wimbledon appoint now it needs to be one with experience and a decent track record of improving the club and getting promotion.

Championship Preview: Barnsley V Cardiff City

New Cardiff City Manager Mick McCarthy will face hometown club Barnsley in his first game in charge of the welsh club. The new Cardiff boss played 314 times for the club where he stared his playing career.

McCarthy takes over from Neil Harris at Cardiff after a run of six defeats saw the club make the chance in manager. Barnsley have three wins and three defeats from their last six games. However in their last match in the FA Cup the host beat Championship leaders Norwich City 1-0 at Oakwell thanks to a Callum Styles goal.

Recent Meetings

Cardiff ran out three nil winners when the side meet in November at Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff won the corresponding fixture last season by two goals to nil.

History favours The Bluebirds who have won the last five meetings of the teams.

Barnsley last win against City was in December 2012 in a thrilling game which ended 4-3 to The Tykes. Barnsley lead 3-1 at half time before Peter Whittingham pulled a goal back and Antony Pilkington levelled in the 89th minute. Ryan Williams got a winner for the visitors in fifth minute of added time.

Team News

Jordan Williams has returned to train today but this match may come too soon for the defender. Liam Kitching has had a set back recovering from a groin issue with Barnsley manager Valerian Ismael saying:

 “We have to completely reduce the intensity and build up slowly. We want to get him back as soon as possible because we have a lot of games but we don’t want to take any risks. We hope he will be back in two or three weeks but we don’t want to put pressure on him.”

New Cardiff forward Max Watters is a doubt after pulling out of training on Monday. Its a blow for the new signing. Lee Tomlin is still out with a long term injury. Greg Cunningham is back fit and available for this game.

Managers Thoughts

Barnsley manager Ismael has told the media he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing off against McCarthy:

 “I know he is a Barnsley guy. I am very delighted to face such a big manager, with his experience. It’s a big challenge. 

“It’s never easy to prepare a game when a new manager has come. But it is clear in this situation. We know exactly the way Cardiff plays football and I don’t think the new manager will take them in another direction.

“It will be a fight, all about the set pieces and the second ball and the desire to win the game. It will be a completely different game than against Norwich. We will be ready.

“I learned you need to have flexibility in your way to play football and which players to choose for the Championship. It was, for me, the breakthrough in the Championship because, after 90 minutes, I learned almost everything of what you need in the Championship. Since that game, we have developed the squad and the team. We are not finished, it is always a process, but we made big steps. 

“If you look at the starting 11 last time and this time, it will be a completely different team. We have a different mindset now. We are very happy with our performance, but we are unhappy with the points in the last games. It is all about getting the points now against Cardiff.” 

Cardiff manager McCarthy spoke at his pre match press briefing about the need to pick the players up, and bringing some confidence back:

How do you get confidence back into them? A solid team performance and getting results. Nothing else gets it back. They might enjoy training, it might be a bit more fun. I’ve been there when you’re losing games. It’s hard to come in with smiles on your face. So if the last two days have been a bit lighter and they enjoy it, it will only continue with a result against Barnsley. Then it’s Millwall. It all hinges on results, there’s no doubt about that.

“We’ve got to stop getting beaten. That’s first and foremost, and you do that by having a solid shape. That’s no disrespect to anybody else. When you get beat, you start to get a bit fragmented on the pitch and they look around and start blaming each other.

“I saw a bit of that in the first training session. But it can’t be one man’s fault. You can’t just blame Neil Harris. If you’re in that state where you’ve lost seven games in a row, if you concede, you see players drop straight away. We’re going to have to organise against Barnsley and a real solid performance. Only on the back of those will we get confidence back.”

Key Players

For Barnsley Callum Styles who scored as they beat Norwich in the FA Cup will be key. The midfielder has four goals and two assists so far this season. He also has four man of the match awards and a whoscored.com rating of 6.96.

Cardiff will be looking for Kieffer Moore to return to the form he was in before being out with an injury. The Wales and Cardiff striker has eight goals this season and ranks second in the Championship player ratings on whoscored.com with a rating of 7.52.

Prediction; Barnsley 0 v 1 Cardiff

New Managers normally mean a upturn in performances. McCarthy will have his Cardiff side organised and working hard. Barnsley will have more of the ball as Cardiff look to go back to basics.

Mick McCarthy To Take Manager Role At Cardiff City

Mick McCarthy is set to be named new Cardiff City manager after the club parted with Neil Harris on Thursday 21st January. Neil Harris and his assistant David Livermore left Cardiff with immediate effect after a run of six defeats left the club 15th in the Championship.

Cardiff owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan said in a club statement:

“I’d like to thank Neil and David sincerely for their hard work at Cardiff City.

“Their efforts to propel us towards a fifth-place finish and Play-Off position last year are recognised and appreciated, although sadly we are in a result-orientated business and our on-field results of late and progress this season has been very poor. As such, we have had no choice but to relieve them of their duties in an effort to improve results and league position with a change of manager.”

The club now look set to name former Sunderland, Ipswich and Ireland manager McCarthy, 61 to take over. An early favourite to get the job, news broke on BBC Sport, that McCarthy was set to take over from Harris at the Welsh Capital.

McCarthy is a vastly experienced manager starting at Millwall in 1992. He left Millwall in 1996 and took over from Jack Charlton as Republic of Ireland manager. He took the Ireland side to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. In the build up for the tournament an argument with captain Roy Keane led to the then Manchester United player being sent home.

After Ireland McCarthy took the role at Sunderland and won the Championship in 2004/05. Following Sunderland he spent eight years at Wolves winning the Championship in 2008/09. Four years as manger of Ipswich before a brief return as Ireland Manager between November 2018 to April 2020. His most recent role was at APOEL FC from November 2020 to January 2021.

McCarthy’s appointment has not been greatly received by Cardiff City fans who have taken to social media. Many thinking this shows a lack of a long term plan by the club.

Details of whether this is a short term appointment or a longer term are not known but McCarthy should be able to steady the ship. Cardiff are a side that are low on confidence and prone to errors currently. McCarthy’s simple way of playing along with going back to basic’s should be enough for Cardiff to finish mid table.

A run to the play-offs this season is starting to look too far away. If this is a managerial appointment to steady and regain confidence then it could be a good move. What will matter is what happens over the summer Cardiff have lacked a long term vision for many years and this needs to be addressed.

The club have yet to announce anything but McCarthy’s appointment is expected to made soon.