premier league news

Hart has no worries over his Portsmouth future

October 15, 2009

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart says he has no fears for his job following new director of football Avram Grant's appointment.

The Israeli visited the South Coast club's training ground on Thursday afternoon but is unable to start the job as he waits for a work permit, which he said could be granted next week.

He is expected to take his place in the stands for Saturday's Premier League clash with Tottenham, along with new owner Ali Al-Faraj.

Hart was not consulted on the former Chelsea boss's appointment by Al-Faraj, although chief executive Peter Storrie has rejected suggestions the former Nottingham Forest manager is being ushered towards the exit door.

With his side battling to get off the bottom of the Premier League table, having taken just one win in eight games, Hart feels he has more important matters to contend with than his future.

He said: "I have bigger things to get on with and whether I'm being lined up for the chop or whatever isn't one of them. I've moved on from that over the years and it really isn't a major issue anymore.

"I really enjoy working here and getting out on the training pitch - that has been my release over the past six months. We still can't get on to talking about the football yet - I know it's getting closer.

"It would be nice, once the club is safe and moving forward in a nice, secure way, to deal with what this football club is all about. And that's playing football.''

While Storrie suggested Grant could play a role in training following his arrival last week, Hart admits that will not be part of the Israeli's remit. He expects Grant, who led Chelsea to the Champions League Final in 2008, to provide a link between the manager and board.

Hart, who insists he still "reports to Peter Storrie'' said: "We've had a couple of chats. He has been here (to the training ground) and I saw him in London last week.

"I'm the manager - I pick the team, coach and all that sort of stuff. He is director of football. Generally, the director of football is the link between the manager and the board - he's involved in recruitment and generally assisting.

"He might be (at the training ground), but it (training) is not his role.''

Portsmouth recently attempted to bring Gary McAllister to the club as an assistant manager for Hart, although the deal broke down as the two parties failed to agree terms.

When asked whether he would have preferred a number two to a director of football, Hart said: "I don't think I've really got an opinion on that.''

He added: "I wouldn't have thought it's required now.''

Having met with Grant, Hart is keen to work towards creating a long-term plan to lead the Fratton Park outfit forward, whatever his own future holds at the club.

Hart said: "Like any good club, I think we need a strategy going forward. I have my ideas on what that strategy should be, relative to the type of club that Portsmouth is.

"Those are the sort of conversations that need to take place. A strategy is permanent - people within a football club are not necessarily. The strategy should be what suits the club - Manchester United's strategy would be different to Portsmouth's. But I'm not going into any more detail right now.''