Adams vows to back referees

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth manager Tony Adams has pledged to bite his tongue even if he thinks a referee's blunder has hurt his team – an unexpected boost for the Football Association's "Respect" Campaign. Adams admits he used to dish out fearful abuse to officials during his Arsenal playing days, but now Pompey's new leader is keen to set a different example.

Some managers have reportedly discussed staging industrial action with measures like delaying the kick-off in games by keeping players in the dressing rooms to make a point about allegedly falling standards among referees. And Adams admits: "There is a lot of worry and stress out there about whether you will be in a job next week. And when there is that kind of intensity people do things they would not normally do."

But he told the Portsmouth News: "Nobody is perfect. I can get things wrong and so can referees. So I will try to count to 10 and give them the benefit of the doubt – although I haven't been tested [as a manager] in that way yet. I am going to try to support them as much as I can – although they need to give us 10 penalties a year."