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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Portsmouth confirm Adams sacking

Portsmouth manager Tony Adams
Portsmouth have lost seven of their last eight league games

Portsmouth have dismissed manager Tony Adams and first-team coach John Metgod following a run of poor results.

A club statement said it was a "difficult decision", taken after Pompey won just two out of 16 Premier League games since Adams took charge.

Adams told BBC Radio Solent he was "surprised" to be sacked.

"Results have not been good, it must be said, but we're not getting done sixes and fours and performances on the whole have been good."

Director of youth operations Paul Hart will take over as caretaker manager for the time being, but that role could be very short-term, with ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant favourite to replace Adams, who had only been in the job since late October.

BBC Radio 5 Live's senior football reporter Ian Dennis said: "Portsmouth hope to have a new manager installed ahead of Saturday's vital home game against Manchester City.

"In the running are Avram Grant, who was director of football at Fratton Park three years ago, ex-West Ham boss Alan Curbishley and I also hear Graeme Souness has been sounded out.

"Grant is considered to be the favourite."

Sep 3: Alan Curbishley - West Ham
Sep 4: Kevin Keegan - Newcastle
Oct 25: Juande Ramos - Tottenham
Oct 26: Harry Redknapp - Portsmouth
Dec 4: Roy Keane - Sunderland
Dec 16: Paul Ince - Blackburn
Feb 9: Tony Adams - Portsmouth
On Saturday, Pompey were beaten at home 3-2 by Liverpool despite leading 2-1 with only five minutes to go.

Prior to the defeat by Liverpool - their seventh loss in eight games - Adams had insisted he had the backing of the club chiefs.

Portsmouth are currently 16th in the table, one point above the relegation zone, with 14 games to play.

The club's statement added: "The owner and the board feel they have been as supportive as they can during a period when results have been poor.

"The team has played well but too many points have been dropped from winning positions.

"The priority for the club is to remain in the top flight and we feel the appointment of a new manager will give us the best opportunity to enable us to do this."

Adams was appointed at the end of October when Harry Redknapp, who guided Pompey to FA Cup glory last season, decided to take the Tottenham job.

The former Arsenal and England captain was named as Redknapp's number two in 2006, after an ill-fated spell in charge of Wycombe and coaching jobs in the Netherlands with Feyenoord and Utrecht.

Adams has been hamstrung - Dixon

At Wycombe, the Gunners legend won only 12 of his 53 games in charge, losing 20.

However, Adams' former Arsenal team-mate Nigel Winterburn feels it is wrong to solely blame the manager for poor results.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Tony will be very, very frustrated - he was a fantastic leader on the football pitch, but being a manager is a different animal.

"It is always the manager who takes the blame as he is the one who sends the players out.

"But I think you also have to look at the players. They are the ones who play for 90 minutes and if they don't perform properly, they have to take some of the responsibility as well.

"It is too easy to look only at the manager when a team goes on a poor run - we should look at the players as well.

"Portsmouth have put in some terrific performances but they just could not get a win, and individual errors have cost them dearly in several games this season."

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see also
Adams 'surprised' at Pompey axe
09 Feb 09 |  Portsmouth
Alan Hansen's column
09 Feb 09 |  Football
Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Beleaguered Adams vows to fight
31 Jan 09 |  Portsmouth
Adams named new Portsmouth boss
28 Oct 08 |  Portsmouth
Adams named Portsmouth assistant
28 Jun 06 |  Portsmouth

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