Grant gets sec­ond chance to help Chelsea to ti­tle

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES - AN­GUS MACK­IN­NON

AVRAM GRANT gets a sec­ond chance to help de­liver the Premier League tro­phy to Chelsea on Satur­day when Manch­ester United visit Frat­ton Park for the Is­raeli’s first match in charge of Portsmouth.

Twenty-four hours be­fore Chelsea have the chance to se­ri­ously dent Arse­nal’s ti­tle hopes at the Emi­rates, Grant is per­fectly placed to do his for­mer club a huge favour by in­spir­ing his new charges to take some- thing from their meet­ing with the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Grant, whose first and last matches as man­ager of Chelsea ended in de­feat by United, was in­stalled as Portsmouth’s new man­ager on Thurs­day with a brief to guide a squad that has se­cured only seven points from 13 matches this sea­son off the bot­tom of the ta­ble and out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

It rep­re­sents a tall or­der. But for­mer Portsmouth chair­man Mi­lan Man­daric is among those who be­lieve Grant can defy the odds by lead­ing the club to safety.

“He is a very proud man, who has abil­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence,” Man­daric said of the for­mer Is­rael man­ager.

“Portsmouth have enough good play­ers and with Avram or­gan­is­ing them they have a very good chance of get­ting out of trou­ble.”

Grant’s last game in charge of Chelsea was the 2008 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal in which John Terry’s miss in the penalty shoot-out handed United the tro­phy, and ef­fec­tively cost the man­ager his job.

His first ended in a 2-0 de­feat at Old Traf­ford, a set­back that Grant’s Chelsea avenged with a 2-1 win at Stam­ford Bridge later in the sea­son.

United visit the south coast looking to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top back to two points ahead of to­mor­row’s Lon­don derby, for which the leaders are hope­ful of hav­ing Frank Lam­pard fit fol­low­ing the Eng­land mid­fielder’s re­cov­ery from a torn thigh mus­cle. – Sapa-AFP

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