Football League World
·19 January 2023
Football League World
·19 January 2023
This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The search for Danny Cowley’s replacement in the dugout at Portsmouth may be about to come to an end.
Indeed, that is according to The News, who report that Oxford United defender John Mousinho is set to be appointed as the League One club’s new head coach in what they have described as a “surprise twist”.
After a selection process led by Portsmouth chief executive Andy Cullen and sporting director Rich Hughes, Mousinho is a candidate that has seemingly peaked their interest.
The club are now said to be pushing to make an appointment ahead of their League One clash with Exeter City on Saturday, although the fact he is still contracted to Oxford United as a player complicates things.
With the above in mind, we asked three of our FLW writers for their thoughts on Pompey’s potential new head coach appointment.
This feels like it is a big risk for Portsmouth to take when it comes to the appointment of a successor for Danny Cowley.
While he has a decent amount of leadership experience from his time as a player, the demands of management will be much greater for Mousinho, especially given the struggles Pompey are enduring at the minute.
As a result, this feels like a big challenge he will be walking into on the back of no experience, at a big club with a great deal of expectation, so this looks like a far from easy first managerial job for the 36-year-old.
Indeed, judging from the reaction to these reports of the Pompey fanbase, he is going to be under pressure right from the minute he walks into Fratton Park, given the perceived underwhelming nature of this appointment.
That could make things even more difficult for Mousinho to get results if he does not start well and the atmosphere around Fratton Park quickly sours even further, meaning this feels like a major gamble for Portsmouth to be taking.
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Blimey, where to start?
John Mousinho has not retired from his playing career yet as far as I am aware, so to take on a job as big as Portsmouth already is a huge shock.
Richard Hughes appears to be a key decision maker at Pompey, and he made the decision to bring Rob Edwards in at Forest Green Rovers in the summer of 2021, so supporters will have to trust his judgment for the time-being.
This is very, very bold to say the least, and will probably frustrate more supporters than it encourages, increasing the pressure on Mousinho to achieve short term results to get the supporters onside.
Time will tell, Mousinho’s role as a player-coach at Oxford will have given him some relevant experience, but this is an enormous step up.
Leam Richardson would have been my first choice.
I think I echo most people’s reaction to this news today when it comes as a real surprise.
With the club having been linked with the likes of Liam Manning and Ian Foster in recent days and held second interviews with them, it felt like one of those names, or at least another name linked, would get the role.
I’m sure, or at least I’d hope this hasn’t just come out of nowhere, with Mousinho said to have taken up a bit of a player-coaching role at his current club, but from the outside looking in it seems that way.
Mousinho is certainly a leader having captained some of his former teams, including his current side Oxford, but managing a side is completely different.
I’m sure he’s been preparing diligently for when his playing days are over, but naturally, appointing a boss with no experience of head coaching is certainly a huge gamble for Portsmouth as they look to get their season back on track.
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