Friday, February 21, 2020

Adams downcast as Portsmouth crash out

SoccerNews in English Premier League, FA Cup 25 Jan 2009


Tony Adams admitted Portsmouth got exactly what they deserved as the FA Cup holders crashed out in the fourth round after being out-played and out-fought by Championship team Swansea.

Adams was horrified by his team’s lack of desire and their failure to impose themselves during a dismal display at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Last season, Portsmouth were parading the cup around Wembley after Harry Redknapp’s men defeated Cardiff in the final.

But a lot has changed at the Premier League club in the last seven months and Adams has presided over a shocking run since Redknapp quit to take over at Tottenham.

“In the first half we were out-played and out-fought,” Adams said. “I did warn the players we were up against a very good Swansea team who like to pass the ball and that we would be in trouble if we weren’t prepared.

“Sadly, I was proved right. Without that fight you go out of this competition. We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down at half-time but we didn’t play well in the first half either. We were very poor.

“It’s disappointing to go out of the FA Cup, no matter what round it is. You have to put defeats like this to bed as quickly as possible.”

Swansea, ninth in English football’s second tier, played the better football throughout and took the lead in the 27th minute when Nathan Dyer, on loan from Portsmouth’s local rivals Southampton, converted Jason Scotland’s pass.

Trinidad striker Scotland added the second on the stroke of half-time with a penalty after Nadir Belhadj fouled Jordi Gomez and Swansea coasted into the fifth round for the first time since 2004.

“I’m delighted that we were able to come to a Premier League environment and be ourselves,” boss Roberto Martinez said. “If you look at our form in the Championship over the last six games, we’ve been at that level and I’m glad we’ve stayed there.

“We had no Championship experience at the start of the season and it was bit of an eye-opener when we came into the league. For me, I’m extremely proud of the way the players dictated things from the beginning against Portsmouth.

“There’s room for improvement but the average age of the players is 25-26 and there’s huge hunger in the team. They want to win games for Swansea and that’s why our dominance today didn’t surprise me.

“It would be very foolish to say we can go on to reach the final but I know we can improve on this. This is a fantastic result.”


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