Steve Claridge in the frame at Portsmouthby Jack Kitson / 31 March 2014, 11:32Tweet
Portsmouth legend Steve Claridge has emerged as a major candidate to take up the reins at Fratton Park, with the striker turned TV pundit the odds-on favourite for the job with bookmakers Sky Bet. The 47-year-old, who made over 100 appearances for his hometown club, was player-manager of the Blues for 25 games back in 2000.
Portsmouth sacked Richie Barker last week following a torrid run of form. Academy boss Andy Awford was instantly placed in charge of the first team, and the former Pompey player enjoyed a winning start in the dugout after inspiring the League Two side to a pivotal three points away to Newport County. The valuable victory moved the south coast club five points clear of the relegation zone with six games remaining.
Awford remains right in the mix at a best-priced 5/2 to get the job on a permanent basis. Meanwhile Neil Warnock, who recently turned down Nottingham Forest, is next in the running at 4/1, while Lee Bradbury and Dejan Stefanovic are further back in the betting.