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Kidd takes up assistant role as Eriksson heads list for Portsmouth job

Brian Kidd, the former Manchester United assistant manager, has been appointed to work with the caretaker manager Paul Hart at Porstmouth. The announcement immediately slashed the odds on Roy Keane becoming the next manager at Fratton Park, but Kidd is also well known to Sven Goran Eriksson, who has emerged as the club's first choice, having worked as a coach with England from January 2003 to May 2004 before he had to step down after being diagnosed as suffering from prostate cancer.

Portsmouth's second choice for the post is Avram Grant, their former director of football and, like Eriksson, he does not usually come with an entourage of coaching staff and will probably work with what he has inherited at the club.

Portsmouth were eagerly awaiting the result of last night's World Cup qualifier between Mexico, coached by Eriksson, and the United States. Defeat and Eriksson could be sacked by the Mexicans after just six months in charge, and Portsmouth have had clear indications that he may be willing to then join them.

Prior to the match Eriksson was at pains to stress, despite admitting that he was flattered to be linked to the job, that he had a contract until after the next World Cup and intended to stay with Mexico. But then what else could he say? Nevertheless, it would still be a surprise if he turned up at Portsmouth despite his close links with the agent Pini Zahavi, who is advising the club's owner Alexandre Gaydamak. Zahavi, of course, also represents Grant.