Redknapp back in charge as Portsmouth sack Rix

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp has replaced Graham Rix as manager of Portsmouth. The former West Ham manager signed a three-year deal yesterday following the departure of Rix after 13 months in charge.

Portsmouth won only 16 of 57 games played under the former Chelsea coach and the club's chairman, Milan Mandaric, decided to act with his side languishing in 15th place in the First Division. "It has been a difficult season which has not met my expectations or those of most of our supporters," he said. "I've been very patient and wanted Graham Rix to be successful, but the team has been very inconsistent and results have not been there, or indeed the football."

Dave Beasant, Pompey's veteran goalkeeper, said: "We felt the team were going in the right direction. You'd have thought Rix would have been given until the end of the season."

Redknapp, who is moving downstairs from his post as director of football, said: "It's a great opportunity to take this club forward. It's a sleeping giant but sooner or later it needs to wake up. We need to improve the club and the team."

The first infusion of fresh blood may be Dion Dublin. The Aston Villa striker is wanted by Portsmouth as part of a deal for the £4.5m-rated Peter Crouch. The Villa manager, Graham Taylor, wants Crouch signed by Thursday.