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New head coaches at Portsmouth and Blackpool give their first interviews since taking jobs

New head coaches at Portsmouth and Blackpool give their first interviews since taking the jobs ahead of this weekend’s matches.

On Friday morning, Portsmouth have confirmed the appointment of John Mousinho, 36, as head coach on a long-term contract.

He leaves his position as player/coach at League One side Oxford United to move to Fratton Park, with Mousinho also to step down as PFA chairman.

He said: “I’m delighted to be appointed Pompey head coach and am excited to get started in the role.

“The club and I are share similar ambitions and we’re focused on delivering the short and long-term success that the supporters here deserve.

“After meeting with Andrew Cullen and Richard Hughes, I really bought into the process and am pleased that the club have also bought into me, giving me this fantastic opportunity.

“I want our team to play on the front foot, with aggressive and attacking football that will win games and entertain the fans.

He said: ‘It’s been surreal, exciting and a pretty tough process in the end.

‘It’s been incredibly exciting, emotional and nerve-wracking, but actually I quite like that.

‘I like the fact I’ve had those emotions.

‘I had a faint hope this was something I can do. That grew and grew and grew, by the time it came to light I was going to be offered the job, I was just gobsmacked.

‘Why am I the right man? Would Portsmouth fans have heard of me as a head coach candidate before this? Definitely not.

‘I completely understand that, but in terms of the criteria the club have set out hopefully I’ve ticked off all of those and we know this is a long-term thing, not a short-term fix.

‘Every decision I make will be in the best interests of the football club.


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‘The fans want to see passion, players who care and want to play for the football club.

‘As long as you’re given time and backing, if you do make the right decisions for the football club, I think it’s a recipe for success for the football club.

‘It’s whirlwind for he fans as well, I completely get that.

‘I’d ask them to give me some time, wait to see what we see on the pitch and then we go from there.’

Pompey chief executive Andrew Cullen said: “We are delighted to welcome John Mousinho as our new head coach.

“Following a thorough process, where we spoke with a number of people, John was the standout candidate. After meeting him and conducting our interviews, we were able to conclude the search and offer John the opportunity to coach this great football club.”

Chairman Michael D. Eisner said: “I support the management’s decision and always encourage looking for talent that is ready for the next level. John Mousinho is positioned to succeed.”

Cullen adds: “John possesses real leadership and motivational skills – evidenced by his position as captain at a number of clubs and election as PFA chairman.

“A UEFA Pro Licence holder, he has a clear vision and an identity he wants to bring to Pompey and is comfortable working with Rich Hughes within the new football structure that has been put in place to deliver our short, medium and long-term goals.

“I am a firm believer that to achieve success, you must possess an openminded approach. By simply doing the same things again and again, we only reduce the prospect of propelling the club forward.

“That is why our head coach search embodied speaking to a wide and diverse range of candidates and why we also now have a sporting director to deliver progress across all our football operations.

“There has been much success achieved by new head coaches and managers given maiden opportunities at several clubs over the past three years and we firmly believe John has all the credentials to bring success to Portsmouth Football Club.

“I hope everyone will give John the incredible Pompey support and encouragement, both tomorrow and beyond. With that, John will be in an excellent position to deliver the long overdue success that we all want to see.

“I will be forever grateful to Simon Bassey and Lorenzo Dolcetti who have now departed and we would like to thank them both for their service to the club, particularly over the past few weeks.”

Pompey sporting director Richard Hughes said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with John. He’s a natural leader and his personality really shone through when we met with him.

“He has a real clarity on the way he wants to play and displayed the characteristics we had identified during our process. It’s a pleasure to welcome him to Fratton Park.

“I look forward to working closely with John, Andy and the rest of the football club to work towards bringing success – both in the short-term and for our longer-term vision.”

Meanwhile, Blackpool announce the appointment of Mick McCarthy as Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

McCarthy said: “I’m delighted to be here, I’m delighted to be back in the game.

“I’m thrilled to be back up at a Club where I’ve had many battles in the past and hopefully we can achieve some of the similar success of those years.”

Chief Executive Ben Mansford said: “Since Simon took over, everyone connected to the Club has worked so hard to get us to the Championship and it is so important we do all we can to stay there.

“We believe appointing Mick gives us that opportunity. Mick has extensive experience at the highest level including over 700 games at Premier League and Championship level, along with recently taking on a similar challenge at Cardiff.

“From the initial contact with Mick, you sensed an excitement to come to Blackpool yet a calmness and confidence about the job ahead. Mick referred to our superb support from the first conversation and how important the fans will be for the remaining 19 games, starting against Huddersfield on Saturday.”

Sporting Director Chris Badlan said: “I’d like to welcome Mick and Terry to Blackpool. They are two hard-working, honest people who will do all they can to give everyone a lift and I hope the supporters will get behind them.

“This appointment gives us the best opportunity to maintain our Championship status. As a Club, it also gives us the time to look towards the long-term vision as we continue to plan for an exciting future here at Blackpool Football Club.”

McCarthy told Tangerine TV: “For sure I’ve had a lot of games in this league, predominantly this and the Premier League and of course some international football. This is relentless, this league, and the bits I’ve seen of us playing now, it seems that we’ve got a really good group of lads.

“I watched one half of Sunderland and I thought they were having a right go. Nobody seems to have downed tools, which is brilliant, and it’s always sad when somebody leaves. But I’ve been on both sides of that and it’s up to me now to make sure that we stay in the league.

“It’s interesting to hear people say ‘you’re coming to save us, you’re coming to keep us up’. No I’m not, I’m coming to try and help the players who are here and any players that we might get in, keep us up.

“It’s not me and TC who will do it, it’ll be the players, and we have to try and give them the confidence back, which they’ve had in the past under Critch and under Michael. Sometimes it goes and somebody has to come in with a fresh voice to try and get back that belief and that energy and create some excitement back here and get some wins. It’s fallen on my lap and I’m delighted.”

Fans reacted as the new head coaches at Portsmouth and Blackpool give their first interviews since taking the jobs…


@rpjt4383: This confused the hell out of me yesterday but today it feels ambitious. Let’s get behind the new man and see where this journey takes us.

@leesotheran1: I can only applaud some fans putting a positive spin on this, fair play. Personally this just feels completely backwards, this is the standards we are setting ourselves now is it? I just don’t get it. Come Saturday I’ll 100% back him but still scratching my head at this point

@georgep2l: Got to give him time but nothing less than a shambles from the eisners

@Up_In_Lights13: People realise he wasn’t just given the job by flipping a coin or pulling a number from a hat? The club obviously liked what he presented to them. He knows what it’s like to be a player, he knows the league, he has connections, he’s young and ambitious. Give him a chance.

@Tills1973: All the best John, as always with our new managers, whether they are rookies, former pe teachers, ex players of ours, or old school legends, they’re now with our club, so will always get support. #thespecialjohn

@PragmaticFrog: Look at all this negativity, I’m going to protest against our fans tomorrow. Welcome John!

@BTeddyK1980: Good luck John – Let us know if you need a transfer budget we’re have a whip round at the dole office for you 👍

@knightronik: Sorry but to give a guy the most important job at the club who has no experience whatsoever is ludicrous. So now the new ethos in football is we tried experience which didn’t work so let’s go for no experience 🤯 Good luck to him, wish him well.

@PompeyPedro: Bookies laughing all the way to the bank. Welcome to the club John, hope it works for you. Up the Blues 🔵

@AlisterWitt: An underwhelming appointment, which will either be the best gamble yet or will prove to be a complete disaster. Hopefully he gets the full backing of the Board to make the changes that are desperately needed. #pompey

@gar78: You know what, let’s give the guy a chance. We’ve tried “the guy who is a proven promotion winner”, we’ve tried “the guys who worked wonders with Lincoln” and look, we’re still in League 1. Maybe we should be trying something a bit left field 🤷🏻‍♂️

@JakeRidgley8183: This is going to be a wild half of the season, let’s see where the ball drops I suppose; good luck John.

@SteveSheppard2: Let’s get behind him and hope this turns out to be an inspired appointment.

@Zeus_Eagle: Massive gamble, especially with 3 games in a week. If they’re going to turn it around, we need to hit the ground running. The next 9 points could determine our season.

@StevePFC1: 2 and a half weeek wait for this 😩 happy to back the man but the appointment itself is final nail in coffin for the board and owners for me. #SackTheBoard #EisnersOut


His name is Mick McCarthy
He’s been in the World Cup
He isn’t here to fist punch🐍🤛
He’s here to keep us up
He’s managed over Europe
But has he ever seen
The famous North Stand bouncing and the sea of tangerine……
Wooaaahhh 👋👋👋👋👋👋……
His name is Mick McCarthy…

@theliammmayo: Fully behind him. Get us out of those drop zone places mick. Mick McCarthys tangerine army 🍊

@NickJaye1: What an appointment guys, Magic Mick is top top bloke, done a great job at Wolves will be looking out for your results

@sedds247: Good, pragmatic appointment. If anyone can use our players properly and keep us up it’s MM.

@AWJThompson: Good luck Blackpool, hope this works well for you, after the way you stood with us last season always kept an eye on your results and keep wishing the best for you 👍🐏

@biggunst14: I like it, no doubt some people will have something to moan about but I think the board have done a good job with this one. 👏

@Matcarpetman_1: Let him have a go ,support the club , enjoy the games in the championship if we stay up will be amazing if we go down not the end of the world a lot of good positives to come in whatever league we are in , be the fans that are talked about no matter where the club are UTMP

@IanBrookes3: Welcome to the seaside Mick I’m sure your experience will be invaluable and our supporters will give you a rousing reception on Saturday. #UTMP

@clintmarcel: Actually really like the bloke, good, honest (some don’t like it) did a good job under very difficult circumstances with us at #ITFC won’t be pretty, but will be committed and no chance of going down with just a whimper. Good luck

@DanielBradf0rd: Plays really attractive football, he had these two playmaker, goal threat midfielders called Jonathan Douglas and cole skuse during his time at ipswich. I remember sitting there under the lights just being inspired by the beautiful game.

He will keep you up in the short term.
The players will initially warm to his honesty and run for him.
He will crack jokes.
The football style will start basic and get progressively worse.
Players will then realise that he can’t improve them.
Survival mindset will lose youngsters

@HDavies1804: Guarantee he’ll keep you up. Granted the football isn’t excellent but don’t take the Cardiff stint and judge it purely off that. Did an excellent job at Ipswich for the large majority. Might not necessarily be sustainable long term but he’ll get a reaction out of the players.

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