Adams backs James
Tony Adams backed goalkeeper David James after his side were sent crashing out of the Uefa Cup.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 04/12/08 11:12pm
Portsmouth manager Tony Adams backed his goalkeeper David James after his side were sent crashing out of the Uefa Cup after a 3-2 defeat away to Wolfsburg.
With the scores deadlocked at 2-2 James tried to dribble the ball around Wolfsburg's Zvjezdan Misimovic only for the striker to rob him of the ball and finish into an empty net.
James tried to amend for the error by saving a penalty five minutes later but by then news had already filtered through that group rivals Braga were winning 2-1 at Heerenveen meaning that Pompey needed to find a winner.
The Germans held out for the victory and leapfrogged AC Milan to go top of the table but Adams refuses to blame his number one.
He said: "He's a fantastic keeper. He saved a penalty, set-up the first goal, he's a great keeper and I have every faith in him and love him to bits.
"He's been in the game a long time and there's nothing I can say to him."
In an entertaining first half the home side took the lead as early as the third minute as Edin Dzeko headed home.
Pompey were level after 11 minutes as Jermain Defoe got on the end of a Armand Traore cross before Arnold Mvuemba's deflected long range effort gave Adams' men the lead.
Wolfsburg equalised on 23 minutes when Christian Gentner's cross evaded everyone to sneak into the far corner.
The home side secured the win in the 74th minute after James costly mistake, with Misimovic finishing off.
Adams admitted that his side had made too many errors to win the match.
He added: "I'm disappointed. We made mistakes and they're a very good counter attacking side.
"They wait and if you give the ball away they pounce. I'm going to take the positives, at times we looked sharp and made chances.
"But we made too many mistakes to win the game today. The defending was better in the second half. First half we gave goals away by not defending crosses.
"We tidied up in the second half. Obviously I was in constant contact with the Braga result and when they went 2-1 up I tried to change things."
Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath was another manager who, despite their qualification to the last 32, was not entirely happy with his side's performance.
He said: "We played an interesting game here. In the first half we played well going up front , however in defence we were not quite so concentrated."