Adams named Portsmouth manager

Tony Adams has been named as the new manager of Premier League side Portsmouth, just over 48 hours after Harry Redknapp left the FA Cup holders to join Tottenham Hotspur.

The former Arsenal and England defender has been at Fratton Park for the past two years, where he was Redknapp's assistant, after an unsuccessful spell in charge of Wycombe Wanderers and coaching posts in the Netherlands.

It's fantastic. I'm very honoured, it's a great opportunity and one I would be mad to turn down
Tony Adams on becoming Portsmouth manager.

Adams, 42, was in caretaker charge of Portsmouth, who are seventh in the Premier League, along with Joe Jordan for Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Fulham, but asked the board of the south coast club if he could take over on a permanent basis.

"I'm ready, I was always ready," Adams, who has been handed a two-year contract, told a Fratton Park news conference. "It's fantastic. I'm very honoured, it's a great opportunity and one I would be mad to turn down. It's like Christmas. 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. 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."

Gunners great Adams said he had spoken to Arsene Wenger, his former manager at Arsenal, for some advice. "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!"'

Adams said his time in charge at Wycombe would have no bearing on his performance at Portsmouth. "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."

There have been fears that Redknapp's departure might spark a player exodus during the January transfer window, but Adams said he would fight to keep his Fratton Park squad together. "They're here because they're good players... but my job is to keep them here and to get them to play well."

Jordan support
Adams's first match in sole charge as manager could scarcely be tougher, with Portsmouth away to league leaders Liverpool tomorrow. However, former England captain remained upbeat. "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."

Adams's former Arsenal team-mate Martin Keown has been linked with a coaching role at Fratton Park, but the new Portsmouth manager said his priority was keeping Jordan at the club. "I'll be doing everything I can to keep Joe at this club, he's a fantastic man," Adams said.

In a separate announcement, Peter Storrie, Pompey's chief executive, stepped up into the post of executive chairman. "It's been a bit of a whirlwind 48 hours," Storrie said. "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."