Portsmouth draw up shortlist to replace Guy Whittingham

Guy Whittingham

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin has told BBC Radio Solent they already have a shortlist of potential targets for sacked manager Guy Whittingham.

Whittingham was dismissed on Monday after just over a year in charge.

The League Two side want applications over the next week and Catlin hopes to be "blown away" by the interest.

"People like a challenge, and there is no bigger challenge than getting Portsmouth to where they should be in four to five years," he said.

"We do have a shortlist in mind of people we have identified who we think fit the role. Plus when the CVs come in the names can sometimes blow you away. There might be a gem or two in there.

"Hopefully late next week we will start the interview process, they will meet the board and then after that make an appointment."

Prior to his sacking by Crawley on Wednesday, Richie Barker was among the bookmakers' favourites, having worked with Catlin at Bury.

Barker had previously refused to comment on speculation linking him to the Portsmouth job.

"I know Guy Whittingham," Barker told BBC Sussex. "I've known him for a long time and used to clean his boots many years ago.

"I wouldn't disrespect Guy, having only been relieved of his job on Monday, by making any comments on that."

However, Catlin has confirmed caretaker boss Andy Awford does not wish to be considered for the role and will return to his job as academy manager when a replacement is found.

Catlin also defended the decision to sack Whittingham, saying it was in the best interests of the club and that Whittingham had lost the confidence of the board.

He said the 49-year-old, who had two spells at Fratton Park as a player, had failed to deliver the agreed success on the pitch, despite the board breaking their budget to meet his requests.

"Plain and simply, he had lost the confidence of the board and they wanted action taken," added Catlin.

"You cannot have a key member of the football club who does not have the confidence of the board.

"The football world is very unforgiving, as we saw on Saturday. What goes on that pitch is our product and while we now have stability off the pitch and we have growth as a business, what goes on the pitch is key to the success and the future of the club."

Bury's former commercial director also hinted that pressure from the supporters was a factor in their decision to dismiss Whittingham.

"We are fan-owned club. They are loyal fans, and the time when they start turning is going to have an influence [on decisions], whether that is right or wrong," he said.

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