Redknapp exchanges Pompey for bitter Rivals!
Saints appoint Redknapp
by Peter ORourke - Last Updated 8 Dec 2004
Southampton have appointed former Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp as their new manager.
Redknapp quit Portsmouth just over two weeks ago claiming he needed a break from the game, but he has made a sensational return to management with their South Coast rivals
Redknapp replaces Steve Wigley, who has been relieved of his duties after failing to steer Southampton clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table.
The news will come as a major surprise to Portsmouth fans as Redknapp had revealed he would not join their old rivals when he left Fratton Park.
Redknapp becomes Southampton's third new manager of a troubled season after Paul Sturrock and Wigley.
The former West Ham boss will be given the job of guiding Southampton out of the relegation zone with The Saints only picking up two wins from 16 games this term.
Redknapp will take charge of Southampton for the first time this weekend when they host Middlesbrough at St Mary's and revealed he was delighted to be given the opportunity to take charge at Southampton.
"I have seen some comments that this must have been set up before I left Pompey but nothing could be further from the truth," Redknapp told the club's official website.
"I never dreamed I would be offered this job. I thought it could never happen because I had been at Pompey.
"I was looking forward to my break but then over the last 48 hours things all happened very suddenly.
"I walked away from Pompey without a penny and left a contract worth an awful lot of money.
"Those reasons are well documented. The chairman felt there was a need for a director of football and that was not a road I wanted to go down.
"I never had any idea anything like this would come up. In fact I was not even sure I wanted to go back into football.
"I had one or two calls but they did not interest me. I planned to take six months or a year and then see how I felt.
"But this was a challenge I could not turn down and if it had not been this club, then I don't know if I would have gone back into football.
"It is a terrific club - and I always said that when I was manager of Pompey."
Interesting development! Without a doubt Redknapp is a good manager who is great at keeping relegation style teams up (and in mid-table) and bargin buying decent players. This is going to add even more spice to the rivalry between Soton and Pompey!
Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
All I possess in the presence of death
is pride and fury