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Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Adams 'surprised' at Pompey axe

Tony Adams leaves Portsmouth's training ground on Monday
Tony Adams leaves Portsmouth's training ground after saying his farewells

Tony Adams has admitted he was surprised to have been sacked as manager of Portsmouth.

Adams, 42, left the club after winning just two of 16 Premier League games since taking over on 28 October.

He told BBC Radio Solent: "I am a little bit surprised but results haven't been good.

"I haven't had a lot of time and I certainly haven't had the financial backing. We've had a few injuries as well and that's tough to take."

He added: "I'm still up for the challenge so I've got mixed feelings."

Adams' final game in charge was Saturday's 3-2 home defeat by Liverpool, and he admitted he could not have asked for any more from his players or fans.

"The guys worked their socks off at the weekend and I've really got to thank the fans," he said.

"I thought they were magnificent for the whole game and were really supportive of me and the team.

"That gave me some inspiration and encouragement ready for the challenge ahead."

Adams conceded his record as manager had not helped his cause for keeping the job.

"I don't think the results have been good, it must be said," he admitted.

"We have been making a lot of mistakes. We are in the results industry and the owner and chairman will point to that. I'm not going to bang on about excuses.

"I think I could have turned it around but it was not to be."

Striker David Nugent, who struggled to make his mark after his 6m move from Preston in July 2007, has recently found his form under the ex-Arsenal man, with three goals in his last four outings.

He said that he believed the club should have given Adams more time at Fratton Park.

"He gave me a chance and I was happy for him to stay. I thought he deserved a few more games but it's the chairman's decision and we'll see who comes in next," said Nugent.

"He called me aside and said I'd done well for him in the past few games, scoring a couple of goals. He wished us well for the future and just walked out; that was it really.

"There's 11 teams who could go down. We have to get a bit of stability at the club, get a few wins and get out of there. I don't have a clue about management but we need someone who can come in and is up for the scrap.

"The players are up for it so we just need someone who can come in and get a few wins."

League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan has offered his support to Adams, while also calling on clubs to give managers more time to make their mark.

"After speaking with Tony this morning, he was very disappointed, particularly for the fans, and very frustrated at only being given 16 games and three months," Bevan said.

Richard Bevan

"That isn't in my opinion long enough to build relations with the team and the club and all the stakeholders down there.

"Earlier in the season, Paul Ince had 17 games at Blackburn and it is a worrying trend.

"The average tenure at the moment for a manager is 15-16 months, which is the lowest it has ever been.

"At the same time you recognise the pressures the club chairmen are under, particularly in the Premier League, in terms of the financial impact of not keeping your league status.

"But you have to look at clubs like Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, Everton and David Moyes and Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill.

"These are guys who are given time to build those relations with the club and build a team. For example, I don't think Sir Alex won anything in his first four years at Manchester United.

"If you are prepared to do that, the statistics tell you that you will be more successful."

Bevan is also convinced Adams will return to management sooner rather than later.

He said: "Tony is immensely professional and determined and will continue to learn his trade

"I am sure he will be back in football management in the not too distant future."

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see also
Can Adams prove Pompey wrong?
10 Feb 09 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth confirm Adams sacking
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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