Date: 4th January 2009 at 8:39am
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It was a disappointing afternoon for Pompey yesterday, not because Bristol City put us under immense pressure – as they did not, but because we did not play particularly well. Ok, we were alright and at least had a team that did want to play for us and the shirt!

Tony Adams though was talking the positives – here are his thoughts, with some of my own…

Adams on the positives
‘I take plenty of positives from this game because the important thing for me was a clean sheet.

‘We’ve been committing suicide in matches recently, getting beaten three and four-one because we have bombed forward trying to win them.

‘But last week at Arsenal we showed we can be difficult to beat and I thought the same system of play and the same players deserved another go today.’

I am pleased with a clean sheet, very pleased in fact but it was our inability to cause serious problems at the other end that concerned me yesterday – yep, we had a few chances but did not look that likely to create much, and that should not be the case with players we have. Our total lack of inability to create something from the middle of the park is really starting to show, we have some hard workers and grafters but no real craft. God how we need this!

Playing the lone striker at home, and against a lower league side of all sides is not something that I favour – changing to a conventional 4-4-2, or making some tactical changes could have won us the game. Adams’ apparent tactical unawareness seems to be a major problem for us, and is what I fear will prove his downfall – I want the fella to succeed but his tactical skills seems to be a big problem, and that is a major problem…

That said, maybe changing things could have seen us lose!

Adams on Defoe
‘Jermain was out with ‘flu and I didn’t have to make the decision whether to bring him back but I also lost Papa and Richard Hughes through injuries and had to make some changes in any case.

‘Jermain is not very well but hopefully we will see him at training on Monday.’

I cannot say we missed Jermain Defoe, as recent weeks seem to suggest that he would not have brought much to the party – we will see if we see him return to training Monday, but if fit then he has no option but to do so, he is paid to train and play for the club!

Adams appears to be doing a ‘bridge building’ operation with Defoe in what could be a last ditch attempt to reconcile what looked like irreconcilable differences? He has told the press that ‘maybe’ he and the club made him feel unwanted and inadvertently gave him the impression that they wanted him to leave?

Well, we either did or we did not! Which one was it… Or, are we just trying to help protect him? Should we not agree a fee then he of course has to stay, and will need to play – and I would not suspect he would be overly popular with the fans following recent ‘reports’ he definitely wants out!

Have we now realised that we will not get what we want for him and ‘might’ have to keep him? Or have we realised that we actually really do need to the fella, and need him on form to score the goals to keep us in the cup, and more importantly the league…

Whatever happens with Defoe, I just want what is best for the club – if that is to keep him then great, if it is for him to go, then lets do it.

‘If’ talk of a £20m offer from Juventus is true though, Italy and all the lovely, lovely Italian ladies will soon be on the horizon for JD I am sure…

Adams on still being in the cup
‘But today was about us staying resilient, staying strong and we got it right at the back again this time. We are still in the competition, we are still the cup holders and I’m positive about the replay as well as positive about playing Manchester City next weekend.

‘We had enough chances to win the game today but City are a good side, well organised by Gary Johnson and we had some close calls against five Championship sides in the FA Cup last season.’

To be fair we had our moments, and some players put in some decent showings, or had their moments to suggest they could play a part in the second half of the season – others showed just why they are not really good enough… but most of all most showed that they do want to play for Portsmouth Football Club, and that is good enough for me! Of course most importantly of all, we are still in the cup!

At home, and against a lower league opponent we would expect to win – we did not, but others struggled yesterday, Citeh got spanked 3-0 at home by Forest and we could easily have gone the same way, even though in all honesty a defeat was rarely threatened against us to be fair.

Our result was by no means the worse result we could have got, jeez we are still alive and were fairly comfortable. I am by no means saying it ‘was a good result’, as it was not lets be honest but off the back of recent results and questionable form this is not as bad as it might have initially seemed, and some reflection from all might see this too…


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