HARRY Redknapp has threatened to quit Pompey if Milan Mandaric brings in a director of football.

Redknapp was furious with the Pompey chairman following reports that Croat Velimir Zajec is set to become director of football at Fratton Park, after leaving Greek champions Panathinaikos.

Pompey boss Redknapp, 57, has guided Pompey to promotion from the first division and tenth place in the Premiership but now he has to try and focus on motivating his players for tomorrow's derby.

Redknapp, who was director of football at Pompey before taking over as manager in 2002, said: "It's not ideal for the players to see that in the papers.

"It's very unsettling, an unbelievable situation. I had a two-hour meeting with the chairman on Wednesday but he never mentioned anything to me about that.

"You never know what to expect in this game. I suppose it's up to the chairman, it's his club, but I haven't seen many successful directors of football, have you?

"Especially when they don't know each other. It never worked at Tottenham, that's for sure. I've been here for two and a half years, which is a record for this chairman, but I would have to decide whether I want to work under those circumstances."

Serb millionaire Mandaric is a friend of 47-year-old Zajec, whom he spoke to when Panathinaikos were at Highbury recently. Mandaric, who is also planning to offer a place on the Pompey board to George Best, said: "I don't know why Harry would be upset, it wouldn't jeopardise his position but make it stronger. I have not made a decision yet and I would not without speaking first with Harry.

"I am very keen to improve the infrastructure of the club - we want to build on what we've achieved here."

The news leaves both Redknapp and Steve Wigley uncertain about their futures.

Redknapp added: "I want to win but I don't want to put Steve Wigley out of a job. He's just been unlucky but he needs time, like all managers.

"Sir Alex Ferguson needed time as a young manager at Manchester United, and I'm sure Steve will be a terrific manager if he's given that time.

"Steve's a terrific guy and I wish him well. He just needs time and I hope they persevere with him - I hope he gets the opportunity to do the job right."

We're in a great position. It's been a great start to the season but this will be a tough game, it's a derby and they've got a few players coming back

"They'll be up for it. They're good up front with Beattie and Phillips but we've got good strikers as well."

Former Saint Eyal Berkovic (calf) is still injured but Linvoy Primus and Nigel Quashie have both recovered from calf strains and Patrik Berger should start his first game since suffering a groin injury against Manchester United.

Arjan De Zeeuw reckons Saints will want to use tomorrow's derby as a springboard for survival - just as Pompey did earlier this year.

When Pompey faced Saints at Fratton Park in March, they were heading for a quick return to the first division. But Yakubu scored in a 1-0 win that sparked an eight-game unbeaten run - and Pompey finished a creditable 13th, one place behind Saints.

Defender De Zeeuw said: "Last season we were in a very difficult position ourselves, then Southampton came to Fratton Park and we turned our season around - I'm sure Southampton will be looking to do the same.

"They're in a bit of bother so this is a massive game for them. It's a crunch match for their manager, but that's not our problem, that's theirs."