Struggling Portsmouth sack Adams
© AFP

Portsmouth have sacked manager Tony Adams after taking just two points from their last nine Premier League matches.

"Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that Tony Adams and John Metgod have left their positions as manager and first-team coach with immediate effect," read a statement from the club.

A 3-2 home defeat by Liverpool on Saturday spelled the end of Adams's short reign at Portsmouth, who are hovering one point above the relegation zone. The former England captain won just four of his 22 matches in charge, after being promoted from assistant-manager when Harry Redknapp left to join Tottenham Hotspur in October. Portsmouth, the holders, were also knocked out of the FA Cup and eliminated from the UEFA Cup.

The priority is for Portsmouth 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.
A statement on Portsmouth's official website regarding Tony Adams's departure

Paul Hart, the club's director of youth operations, will take over as caretaker-manager until a permanent successor is appointed. Reports said Alan Curbishley and ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant were on a shortlist to take over, although the former might be prevented from doing so as he is embroiled in a legal wrangle with his former club, West Ham United.

A Portsmouth spokesman said on the website: "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 him and John and wish them 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.

"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."