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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 14:32 GMT
Zajec named as Pompey boss
Velimir Zajec (left) and Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric
Velimir Zajec has been confirmed as Portsmouth's new manager.

Zajec, 48, was initially brought in as executive director which led to ex-boss Harry Redknapp quitting on 24 November.

The Croatian has been in temporary charge since then with Joe Jordan as his assistant and the pair have now been placed in permanent charge.

Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric said: "I still believe in having a football director and a coach, but at this time I accept this situation."

Zajec and Jordan have earned eight points from the five games they have been in charge.

Mandaric added: "They took over during the commotions and demonstrated a tremendous partnership and togetherness.

I am a soldier of the team, I accept every job they give me
Velimir Zajec

"The players responded and we are very happy to go forward with the potential for this club.

"Velimir brings tremendous knowledge of football, he understands the players, he's been there and managed, coached and played and we're very lucky to have this kind of manager on board."

Gordon Strachan rejected the chance to take over at Portsmouth because of his previous ties from being the manager of rivals Southampton.

Zajec signed a three-year deal when he arrived at the club in November and he has set his sights on securing the club's top flight status as his main priority.

"I have already my job, it is not a new job for me, I was already here and had a contract," he said.

"I am a soldier of the team, I accept every job they give me. We'll see how long it will go.

"Because of the situation - we are in the middle of the championship - we can't change too many things. I accepted this, it's not a new job, we just continue like the last one and a half months.

"We have a good squad, good players, good character of players who have shown they can play with discipline. First of all we need to take the club and make sure we are not going out of the Premiership.

"That one step is very important for us."

Interview: Milan Mandaric and Velimir Zajec

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