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Feb 9, 2009

Portsmouth sack manager Adams

Tony Adams has admitted that he was surprised that his tenure as Portsmouth manager came to an end on Monday morning despite a disastrous run of nine Premier League games without a win.

The former Arsenal and England captain had only been in charge at the south coast club since October 25 when he was named caretaker manager following the departure of Harry Redknapp.

After assuming the full managerial role three days later Adams has presided over a torrid run of just two wins in 16 league games which has seen the club slide down the table; they now lie just one point above the relegation zone.

The club also surrendered their grip on the FA Cup with the reigning holders knocked out of the competition in the third round after a 2-0 home defeat to Championship side Swansea.

The final straw was Pompey's 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday. Despite twice taking the lead, Portsmouth were beaten courtesy of an injury-time goal by Fernando Torres.

Reacting to his dismissal Adams 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.

''It's not turned me off management that's for sure. I've just got to make sure I get all the parameters right before I walk into the next one. I can't wait to get back in and have another bash. But I won't be impulsive, I've got to learn from that and make sure I get things right.''

A statement to the club's website announcing Adams sacking read: ''This has been a very difficult decision and Tony has worked tirelessly to arrest the slump in form.

''He is rightfully highly-respected within the football world and played a major role in our FA Cup triumph last season. We would like to thank and wish [him] well in the future.

''The owner and the board feel they have been as supportive as they can during a period where results have been poor. The team has played well but too many points have been dropped from winning positions.

While 42-year-old was told on Sunday that his services were no longer were required and the club respected his request that an official announcement was delayed until Monday morning.

It was thought that Adams would be given until the end of the season to turn around the Fratton Park club's fortunes, however just a week after executive chairman Peter Storrie quashed speculation that Adams was on the brink of losing his job the axe fell.

The club's director of youth operations, former Nottingham Forest boss Paul Hart, has been installed as caretaker manager.

Several names have been linked with the vacant position, including former Chelsea boss Avram Grant, who served as director of football at Portsmouth during the 2006/07 season, and former West Ham and Charlton boss Alan Curbishley, who Pompey bosses last week strongly denied any link with.

The other name in the frame is former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who is feeling the heat in his current position as coach of the Mexican national team.

Many Pompey fans have pointed to the sale of Lassana Diarra and Jermain Defoe as contributing factors in the club's malaise, but with club owner Sasha Gaydamak looking to sell the club retaining it's top flight status is imperative.

As the club explained: ''The priority is for Portsmouth Football Club 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''.

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