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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Adams on defeat, Diop, Defoe and the future

Tony Adams almost kicked off his Pompey career as manager in an almost ideal way against Liverpool with at least a draw at Liverpool - which might have been even better - but for a later winner.

Even so, as he told The News he is still taking plenty from the game: 'I was gutted really. I was really pleased with how they did.

'We have had the two best chances of the game against the league leaders. My boys fought really hard and I can't really fault them.

'They are a little low because we have played so well and lost. To lose in the manner we did was frustrating.

'We would have walked away with a win on another day after having those chances.

'We thought we deserved something out of the game.'

Clearly Liverpool are a classy outfit, but we defended really well - set out a game plan and stuck to it.

I have only seen the chances as they happened but from where I sat Papa Bouba Diop really should have done better with his header, as he seemed to have plenty of time and 'might' have even been able to have brought it down? John Utaka also should have done better with his late missed chance, but there you go...

We were beaten but in no way disgraced and should walk away from that defeat with our heads held high - 1 point from the last 6 is somewhat harsh, but I have been pleased by both performances and feel we can take something from them, we must win on Saturday though at Fratton!

As for Diop, his moment of madness when he looked to get two hands to the ball cost us the penalty that ultimately cost us the game but Adams is not blaming him: 'I didn't ask Papa what he did. I spoke to him about it but I certainly didn't blame him.

'In my opinion - and I gave him my opinion - I think big Sami got away from him, he got a yard on him, and he panicked.

'Next time he's still got to get it past England's number one - get your body in there, pull him off and then there's no problem.

'I've been doing the technical bit with him rather than throwing teacups. That's how I do things.

'You see, one moment of madness costs you in a place like this, it happens.

'I remember coming here as an Arsenal player and good, old Ray Parlour had his first game and gave away a penalty. It costs you and you lose the game and you go home with nothing.'

A decision that Adams did make pre game, and one that surprised many was the exclusion of Jermain Defoe.

He was only named on the bench as we went with a 4-5-1 formation - but he insists there is no problem with him, it was just tactical and a move to counter another potential spanking: 'I saw him Jermain rubbing his calf and we've had some beatings away form home at Manchester City and away at Braga so we had to be stronger.

'I want J to be top scorer at this club and challenging for top scorer in the league but also I'm realistic and we are away at the team top of the table.

'Some decisions I will make will be tactical, some emotional, and that one was tactical tonight. I've no problem with J and I hope he scores lots of goals at this football club.'

Yep, I always want Defoe to play as I know he will get chances, most of which he will take but Adams made exactly the right call for me here tactically - had we gone 4-4-2 I think there is a very good chance we would have been ripped to shreds. Peter Crouch was lacking in support, but when played to his feet he held the ball up well, and to be fair did the best he could when the ball was launched to him.

Getting Defoe on 5 minutes earlier might have made a difference, but then again it could have exposed us more and seen more goals follow for Liverpool? This call is one that I back Adams with, and also one that I do not think our previous manager would have made - and that could have seen a far different result, and not for the better...

And finally, as for what his own intentions are with the team he is encouraged enough to believe that things will work out ok: 'I've got a great bunch of players here at Portsmouth who will work hard and who I trust.

'My feet are firmly on the floor, I'm a realist, but I think this might work out.

'I think we'll be alright me and Portsmouth, I've got a funny feeling - maybe I'm wrong and maybe it wont but I think we'll be alright.'

Tony Adams blue and white army...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 30 2008

Time: 12:06PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
In my mind the only mistake that Tony made was not sending on JD as soon as we went 1-0 down. Other than that he has shown that the team are motivated and that he is tactically alert. Well done Tone.
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30/10/2008 12:25:00

I was surprised that Defoe didn't start, but Harry's hands were tied after he lured him with the promise he would play every game, and Tony can make his own decisions. I think both will start up front at home. I'm amazed at the apparent turnaround in Utaka. As for Diop's miss, you didn't really expect him to score surely? The only time he actually did (Braga) it was ruled out. I'm pleased with the team's performance, and sure we will win at home to Wigan on Saturday.
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30/10/2008 12:32:00

The king is dead. long live the king, as they say. Adams wants his own team for next season, as he expects lots to leave. Well we are onboard for the journey, let's see what happens! Unlucky last nite but someone else has the lucky manager tag.
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30/10/2008 12:58:00

There's no shame in losing 1-0 at Anfield. But Tony's right. You weren't far away from a result and you limited their chances until late on. Altogether I think you were unlucky not to get a point.
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30/10/2008 14:45:00

It's looking good. We can't think about what January will bring, lets just go with it and see where it takes us. I've got a good feeling.
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30/10/2008 14:55:00

Very encouraging. Tony will be his own man - he'll have the courage to call it as it is. I'm optimistic. TONY ADAMS' BLUE AND WHITE ARMY!
Report Abuse
30/10/2008 15:59:00

Adams comments refering to having his own team next season in my opinion relates to players bought by "HR" which were not endorsed by him. I am an Adams fan, but would advise against too much post match comment.
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30/10/2008 16:47:00

I was pleased with the performance I guess but as we hald on for a draw for so long I really started to believe we might have got a point. TalkSport's kindest prediction was a 3-1 loss to Pompey (their harshest prediction was 4-0). I'm so glad we proved them wrong.
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30/10/2008 17:16:00

UNlucky not to get my predicted 0-0 draw. Oh well. next game please.
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31/10/2008 08:42:00


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