Adams still hoping to keep Defoe

Portsmouth 0 Bristol City 0

Maybe the booing at full-time from the Fratton faithful changed his mindset, but Tony Adams appears to have discovered new resolve to keep hold of Jermain Defoe.

Content that the England striker, a target for Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, did not pull a sickie on Friday, the Portsmouth manager will most likely sit down with the player today to discuss his future at the club - provided that Defoe is well enough to make it to training.

"Maybe I'll make a point of talking to him on Monday. People change. I always want to give the benefit of the doubt to players," said Adams, who has dropped his mantra of only wanting to retain personnel who are completely committed to the club.

"At the moment, he's a Portsmouth player and, until you hear otherwise, I am very positive [about the prospect of him staying]."

Convincing Defoe to stay will be an uphill battle, especially after the player revealed yesterday that he has received threats from irate Portsmouth fans.

Without the flu victim, Adams again plumped for a 4-5-1 formation and there seemed an eerie predictability about this result, even before kick-off. Peter Crouch led the line alone, with Adams wary of his team "committing suicide" in the manner that they did in the 4-1 home defeat to West Ham on Boxing Day.

Niko Kranjcar and David Nugent offered support from the flanks, but there was something unedifying about the FA Cup holders playing with caution at home in the third round against middling Championship opposition.

That Adams resisted the temptation to change tack as the second half wore on suggests that he lacks confidence in his team's ability to drive forward in greater numbers without leaving themselves susceptible to the counter-attack.

Portsmouth's greatest asset is indeed their defence, which only allowed the visitors one clear-cut chance all afternoon, a 70th-minute header from right-back Bradley Orr that David James tipped over the bar.

By that time, the excellent Sylvain Distin had already seen a double effort scrambled off the City goalline, as well as strong drive turned away by Adriano Basso. The most glaring miss came from Kranjcar who headed wide from six yards when unmarked.

The return with Gary Johnson's men at Ashton Gate will be played a week tomorrow. Adams, who before the match lauded his team's ability not to concede goals, needs to find urgent solutions on how to score them.

Portsmouth (5-4-1): James; Cranie (Pamarot, 82), Campbell, Distin, Belhadj; Nugent, Wilson, Davis, Mvuemba, Kranjcar; Crouch. Substitutes not used: Begovic (gk), Lauren, Hreidarsson, Little, Kanu, Traore.

Bristol City (5-4-1): Basso; Orr, McCombe, Carey, Fontaine; Skuse, Styvar (McAllister, 83), Sproule (Williams, 64), Elliott, Johnson; John (Adebola, 62). Substitutes not used: Henderson (gk), Noble, Akinde.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Booked: Portsmouth Belhadj; Bristol City John.

Man of the match: Distin.

Attendance: 14,446.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform