New boss needs to handle weight of expectancy

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Tubbs calls for experienced manager appointment
  • Promotion is the challenge for Awford’s successor

MATT TUBBS knew Pompey were a big club.

But it wasn’t until he arrived at Fratton Park from AFC Wimbledon he realised quite how big.

Before I signed here I knew it was a big club - but when I came here I realised it’s even bigger.

Matt Tubbs

And handling the expectation which comes with a side of that nature being in League Two is the challenge Andy Awford’s successor faces.

Promotion, quite simply, is the only target for the man the Blues board task with taking the team forward.

Paul Cook remains the main name in the frame, as he secured Chesterfield a place in the League One play-offs on Saturday.

After gaining an appreciation of what Pompey is like since joining in January, Tubbs, 30, feels experience is the key for the new man at the helm.

Taking on a role where every decision you make will invoke an opinion is something the fourth boss of the community-owned era will have to handle.

Tubbs said: ‘Experience is going to be a big thing for the new manager.

‘He has to have the experience to be able to handle a club of this stature.

‘It’s a big club, that’s for sure.

‘Before I signed here I knew it was a big club.

‘But when I came here I realised it’s even bigger.

‘It’s a fantastic club to play for.

‘I’m just hoping next season we can give the supporters what they want and get out of this division.

‘That’s what the new manager has to do.

‘It’s a huge club to take on as a manager. You have to be thick skinned and believe in what you can do.

‘You have to be able to take criticism and also be gracious with it.

‘Gary (Waddock) has shown he’s got that in the time he’s been here and the new guy, when he comes in, will have to be the same.’

Cook remains the clear bookies’ favourite for the Pompey job after news of their approach for the Chesterfield boss emerged last week.

Tubbs explained the race for the Fratton hot seat is something the players, quite naturally, are keeping a close eye on.

He said: ‘It’s out of our control but we will be watching what happens.

‘We don’t get paid to pick managers.

‘That’s what the board, the chairman and the chief exec have to do.

‘Hopefully they get the right guy and pick well.’

Tubbs feels the Pompey players have been resilient to the upheaval of Awford’s departure earlier this month.

With many of the team out of contract and looking to the future, the former Bournemouth man reckons squad members have had plenty to focus on.

Tubbs said: ‘I’ve been on the receiving end of managers moving on.

‘As players, you get on with it.

‘We’re in a situation where we couldn’t go up or go down, so you just have to try to put in performances.

‘There are players out of contract in the summer, so they have to put in performances.

‘They’ve got to up their games.

‘Whether they want to sign a new deal here or are going to move on, they need to be 100 per cent at it.’