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Hart dismissed as Portsmouth manager

Paul Hart has paid the price following Portsmouth's poor start to the season.
Paul Hart has paid the price following Portsmouth's poor start to the season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Portsmouth sack manager Paul Hart following their poor start to the English season
  • Hart becomes the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season
  • Portsmouth are bottom of the table with just seven points from 13 matches so far

(CNN) -- Portsmouth have sacked manager Paul Hart following their poor start to the English Premier League season.

Hart becomes the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season, after taking just seven points from 13 matches this season.

The club were beaten 1-0 at Stoke on Sunday and are four points adrift of safety, ahead of this weekend's clash with champions Manchester United.

Portsmouth have a ready-made replacement for Hart at the club after bringing in former Chelsea manager Avram Grant as director of football last month. He will be the firm favorite for the job.

The club have not yet named Hart's successor however, and coaches Paul Groves and Ian Woan have taken temporary charge of the first team.

Portsmouth said in a statement on their official Web site that Hart was "relieved of his duties", and stressed the decision was taken "reluctantly" and on the basis of recent results.

The club added that Hart had turned down the role of technical director, with responsibility for players aged 18 to 21.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie said: "Paul has worked under very difficult circumstances with the financial restrictions the club has faced since he took over.

"However, the board feels that the team should have accrued more points to date and that we need a new man in charge to ensure Premier League survival.

"The board would like to thank Paul for his work not only in keeping the club in the Premier League last season but also for his time in charge of youth development.

"Paul is a man of great dignity and we hoped he would stay and help us develop younger players on the fringes of the first team. We are genuinely sad to see him leave. Everyone at the club wishes him well for the future."