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Steve Claridge
"Having previous management experience doesn't always work."
 real 14k

Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Pulis given Pompey 'leave'
Tony Pulis
Pulis has been given a leave of absence by Pompey
Tony Pulis has been given a four-month leave of absence by Portsmouth to allow him to pursue his court case against former club Gillingham.

The decision to relieve Pulis of his duties comes just 24 hours after he was given a vote of confidence by chairman Milan Mandaric.

Pompey favourite Steve Claridge has been given temporary control of first team matters with Guy Whittingham helping him out.

Pulis, 42, only took charge at Fratton Park in January, but they have managed just two league victories in 11 games so far this season and suffered an early exit from the Worthington Cup.

Mandaric is delighted that Claridge has agreed to step in and said: "It's good that we did not have to go out and search to bring someone in.

"Steve was an abvious choice because of his loyalty and commitment."

The Portsmouth-born striker said: "It's something I've always dreamed about since I was a kid. I love this club.

"It's great, but I've got to make it work. I'm under no illusions about how hard it will be."

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