Pompey striker backs boss for permanent role

David Connolly breaks forward for Pompey at Brentford. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131018-089)
David Connolly breaks forward for Pompey at Brentford. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131018-089)

David Connolly believes Guy Whittingham is a ‘shoo-in’ to be named permanent Pompey boss this week.

Prospective Blues chairman Iain McInnes wants a manager installed ahead of the Sheffield United match – the final Fratton Park fixture of the season.

The appointment will be discussed early this week by what will be the new club board.

Meanwhile, Whittingham’s improving side came within five minutes of pulling off a notable victory at Brentford.

Goals from Connolly and Shaun Cooper appeared to have given the visitors a 2-1 win on Saturday.

But Bradley Wright-Phillips and Clayton Donaldson netted in the final five minutes to turn the game around for the promotion hopefuls, who ran out 3-2 winners. Regardless, it was another encouraging display from a side who have now lost just three of their last 13 matches.

And Connolly is adamant caretaker boss Whittingham has proved his worth and should be given the job full-time.

He said: ‘Guy is very cool, calm and collected. He has the ideal temperament.

‘He’s been there as a first-team player, had a long career and knows how to deal with youngsters and experienced pros.

‘I think he has done very well. Whether he wants me or not (next season), it’s by the by. I think he should be the manager.

‘You have asked me for my opinion and that’s what it is.

‘If it had been a 2-1 win on Saturday I am sure it would have given it (the decision) more impetus.

‘But I know he was nearly manager of the month and all those little things.

‘He has developed as a manager since I have been here and I think that comes with experience.

‘Let’s not forget, though, he had a long, long career in the game coaching and, for me, he’s a shoo-in.

‘Hopefully that decision will be made sooner rather than later and the club can plan for next season.

‘If that’s the case I am sure they (Whittingham and Andy Awford) will do very well.’

A classy 25th-minute strike from Connolly cancelled out Wright-Phillips’ opener.

It was goal number six for the veteran striker who has made such a massive Pompey impact.

He has already indicated he would entertain the idea of staying at Fratton Park next season – if the opportunity arose.

But Connolly was angry the Blues failed to hold on for victory at the Bees.

He added: ‘Losing at the end was criminal really.

‘We just shouldn’t have lost from that position.

‘We have to get out of that mentality of being losers and start thinking about winning.

‘We cannot take pats on the back, we lost 3-2.

‘We didn’t quite do enough with the ball and without the ball maybe – and kind of got punished.’