Avram Grant confident of steadying sinking ship at Portsmouth

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant

New man: Grant watches over Portsmouth training

Avram Grant is confident he is the man to steer Portsmouth clear of the clutches of relegation, starting with the small matter of a home match against the champions Manchester United on Saturday.

Grant was unveiled at a press conference earlier on Friday where Pompey chief executive Peter Storey revealed the Israeli officially remains the club's technical director, until he receives a change to his work permit. That is expected next week.

Former Chelsea boss Grant has been at Portsmouth in his current role since early October but now replaces Paul Hart, who was sacked on Tuesday with the club rock bottom of the Premier League.

'It's a big challenge,' Grant said. 'I think we deserve to stay in the Premier League and that's my main concern. I need to do a good job because the team are not in a good position. I love this club.

'I think the squad is good enough to take us from the bottom, but we need some players who can improve us and also the (African Nations Cup) is coming so some players will not be around for a month and we need to think about that.

'I think the spirit of the team and the atmosphere are good, they are trying to play good football.

'There have been good results in the last month compared to before...but what's happened has happened and I'm looking forward to the next game (Manchester United at home tomorrow).'

Grant left Chelsea in May 2008 having steadied a sinking ship in the wake of Jose Mourinho's shock departure. The Pompey job is certainly a different animal but he hopes he can have an equally impressive impact.

Chelsea manager Avram Grant is as close as he'll get to the trophy

No cigar: Grant reflects on the Champions League final defeat in Moscow

'I've have had many situations in my life,' Grant said. 'Chelsea was different - I went there when they were in a bit of a crisis, they were on the way down - and the result was good in the end.'

Grant's time at the Stamford Bridge helm came to and end after the 2008 Champions League final defeat on penalties to Manchester United, ironically the opponent he starts his Portsmouth tenure against.

'It won't go to penalties tomorrow,' Grant said with a rueful smile. 'Manchester United are a very good team, they have a great manager who's a very nice person, but we need the points.'


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