Hilaire: Guy Whittingham deserves Portsmouth job full-time

Portsmouth caretaker boss Guy Whittingham

Former Portsmouth winger Vince Hilaire feels caretaker manager Guy Whittingham deserves the job on a full-time basis.

Whittingham has overseen a run of form that has brought Pompey 10 points from their last eight games.

And Hilaire says the former striker deserves to be rewarded for lifting the club off the foot of the table by being given the role on a permanent basis.

"I think Guy should be given the reigns next season, it's been quite a drastic improvement," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"Five or six weeks ago it was quite hard. On the sidelines the body language was, to be honest, a bit forlorn with everything that's been going on.

"Then a couple of results on you can see that body language is just so different. There's a lot of optimism around the place."

Hilaire, who played 168 times for Portsmouth, feels the combination of Whittingham and assistant Andy Awford would be a popular choice with the Portsmouth supporters.

"They're two people who know the club inside out," said Hilaire. "They were great servants of the club and favourites down at Fratton Park.

"That makes it a little bit easier to tell the players that are currently there, and players that they will undoubtedly try to bring in to the club if they get the job, what to expect from Portsmouth."

With a 10-point deduction awaiting the club when they exit administration, Whittingham's side face an uphill battle to stave off relegation to League Two.

But Hilaire says whatever happens next season it could be the start of a positive time for the club.

"Whether they'll be in the division they are now or a division lower next season they will still be one of the bigger teams," he said.

"It will all be about optimism. You can't help but think a good start, which has not been on the Portsmouth agenda for the last few years, would be such a shot in the arm.

"With a new management team of Whittingham and Awford and new owners, the fans would be filled with optimism and it could be a new dawn for Portsmouth football club."