Redknapp's role under threat

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp's future as Portsmouth manager was thrown into doubt yesterday, following reports that the club's chairman, Milan Mandaric, plans to sack the assistant manager Jim Smith.

Mandaric denied that Smith and the coach Kevin Bond are to leave but admitted there are plans for a "reorganisation" of the club in the summer. Redknapp said: "If Jim goes it makes my life very difficult, but I just have to wait and see. Jim and I have been a team from day one and we have taken this club forward together. They were going nowhere when we came here and we have turned them from a struggling First Division side into a Premiership team in two years.

"We are a team and I do not see why the chairman wants to change things now. No one could have done more than we have over the last two seasons and Jim has not done anything wrong.

"The chairman wants to bring in a European super-coach but in all my years in the game I have never met such a coach. I do not see why we should change anything because Kevin, Jim and I get on really well. The only way anyone could do a better job is if they had £40m to spend.

"I am very disappointed but I knew something was happening because there has been a weird atmosphere around the club."

Mandaric said there were no plans to dispense with Smith or Bond. "I spoke to Harry about what we can do better in the future, and all of a sudden, less than 24 hours later, everyone in the whole country is talking about Jim Smith and Kevin Bond being fired. I'm sorry, I just don't understand that," he said.

"We have to sit down and talk about the reorganisation of the club. I have tremendous respect for Jim Smith but I have to look at what is best, not for me or Jim Smith, but for the club."

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