Adams named as Portsmouth boss

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The Independent Football

Former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams has been named as the new manager of Barclays Premier League Portsmouth.

Adams was in temporary charge alongside Joe Jordan for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Fulham following the departure of Harry Redknapp.

And today the 42-year-old was given the top job at Fratton Park, with tomorrow's match at Liverpool his first test as an English top-flight boss.

Peter Storrie, who has become executive chairman at Fratton Park, confirmed the appointment and revealed Adams had been given a two-year contract.

He continued: "It's been a bit of a whirlwind 48 hours.

"I know we said we'd take our time a little bit but we had a think about it, had a chat with Tony and we feel he's done a tremendous job here and thoroughly deserves this opportunity to manage the club.

"He's not only popular among the board and people working at the club, but as was shown on Sunday, it's a popular decision for the supporters."

Adams said: "It's fantastic. I'm very honoured, it's a great opportunity and one I would be mad to turn down.

"I'm very excited, I can't wait to get going. I've been here two and a half years and it was kind of business as usual this morning.

"We've got some great players here at Portsmouth and I've been kind of responsible, with Harry, for bringing them to the club.

"I am going to take this opportunity and risk, because Harry's done a fantastic job for this club and is a hard act to follow. But I think it is my time, I think I am ready."

Adams revealed he spoke to Arsene Wenger, his old boss at Arsenal, for advice.

He said: "I spoke to Arsene last night for advice and he said 'welcome to hell'. I said 'are you scared? Because I'm coming for you!"'

The former England defender insisted he will take his time before appointing his coaching staff.

There has been much speculation about a player exodus - but Adams insisted he would fight to keep his best players, even if Redknapp is an interested party.

He continued at the press conference, televised on Sky Sports News: "They're here because they're good players...but my job is to keep them here and to get them to play well.

"At the moment they're responding well - they might not like me but at the moment it's going well.

"The environment is very important. Matchdays become intense and that's been me as a player.

"Arsene Wenger said I was a bugger in the week but I came to life at the weekend.

"I'm one of those annoying people who gets back up. I don't know what way it's going to go but sooner or later I was going to get an opportunity to manage a very good team.

"At Wycombe my job was to save the club - they were losing £6,000 a week at the time but this is a different ball game.

"It was the right time to move on from there, I went to Feyenoord and that was a great learning curve. This is the next step for me, so here I am."

On Redknapp, the former Gunners captain added: "He brought me here and I've got to go on record and thank him for bringing me here.

"It was great learning as it was learning in my playing days under Arsene Wenger, Bobby Robson, Terry Venables and all the great managers I've played under.

"I've tremendous respect for him and I hope he does well - but not against Arsenal tomorrow."

Storrie was reluctant to talk about the financial side of things at Fratton Park, adding: "I said all I'm going to say about finances the other day, it's a boring, boring subject.

"The club is fine, we're moving on, the owner (Alexandre Gaydamak) is here and he continues to put money into the club.

"If Tony wants to sell then we'll sell and reinvest that money - and the fans are all aware of the situation.

"Tony will be here as long as he wants to. I'm sure he'll be successful and the response has been positive from other clubs.

"He's very well respected in the game and we'll give him all the support we can. He's got a really good team about him."

Adams becomes the Premier League's 11th English manager and Storrie explained: "As a club we've got a third of the England team here and it's important to keep those links."

Storrie admitted the chance for continuity was a factor in Adams' appointment and revealed the former assistant boss was in his mind from the start.

"Yes, right from the beginning we quite liked the idea of continuity within the club," Storrie said.

"We have had a really good system, the three or four of them working together. So that was very much in my mind.

"It was the correct thing to do to look and see what else was about but we couldn't see anything better than what we've got here."

Adams did not try to conceal his delight at being given his first managerial role since his spell at Wycombe.

"It's like Christmas," he said. "It's the best job in the world. I'm scared to bits, of course, but another bit of me is really excited. I couldn't sleep last night.

"I would have been gutted not to get the job but thanks to them (Storrie and Gaydamak) for having the courage to put me in place."

Speculation suggests former Arsenal team-mate Martin Keown could join Adams' backroom staff but the new boss also insisted he is desperate to keep first team coach Joe Jordan at the club.

"I'll be doing everything I can to keep Joe at this club, he's a fantastic man," Adams said.

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