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Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Sunday, 28 December 2008

Defoe omission tactical - Adams

Jermain Defoe
Defoe was angry after not starting for Pompey against Arsenal

Portsmouth boss Tony Adams insists his decision to leave striker Jermain Defoe on the bench at Arsenal had nothing to do with the upcoming transfer window.

"It was tactical," said Adams. "At the moment we are struggling with balance. Away at Liverpool and away at Arsenal, I chose to keep him on the bench.

"Those are my reasons and speculate all you want but I have had no offers for Jermain Defoe, not one."

Several clubs are thought to want former Tottenham star Defoe in January.

Adams conceded the England international was angry after coming on in only the 88th minute at the Emirates as Pompey were sunk by a late William Gallas goal.

"Jermain was really annoyed with me for leaving him out and he is still angry with me now and I wouldn't want it any other way, to be honest," added Adams.

Having seen French midfielder Lassana Diarra sold to Real Madrid for 20m before Christmas, Adams, whose side are 12th in the Premier League, is determined to hold on to other key players.

Adams prepared for Pompey fight

But he stated: "We're in a scrap with 14 other clubs [against relegation] and if they don't want to play for Portsmouth then they're no good to me.

"It's not reading the riot act, it's fact. If your head has been turned, if you're not trying everything to win games for the club then I don't want you around."

With Portsmouth owner Sacha Gaydamak believed to be looking for a buyer for the club, several players are expected to leave Fratton Park during the transfer window.

But Adams said: "No-one's come to see me, no-one wants away."

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see also
Arsenal 1-0 Portsmouth
28 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Tottenham back out of Defoe move
27 Dec 08 |  Tottenham

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