Adams opts for gentle approach

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Portsmouth's new boss Tony Adams was determined to stay calm when explaining Papa Bouba Diop's mistake in handing Liverpool victory on Wednesday night.

Adams, in his first game in control after replacing new Spurs chief Harry Redknapp, would have been forgiven for resorting to tea-cup-throwing fury after Diop's crazy handball gave Liverpool the penalty that allowed Steven Gerrard to secure a 1-0 victory.

But Adams said: "I did not blame Diop afterwards. I gave him my opinion, though. I simply said that Sami Hyypia had got away from him, a yard clear, and he panicked. But he still had to get it past England's number one (David James), so he should have got his body in the way to put him off. I was trying to be technical with him rather than throwing a tea cup."

Adams, though, did not rule out an angrier approach in the future.

He said: "I am what I am. If I see something that needs to be thrown, I will throw it.

"I like being calm because you make clear decisions then. But I do get angry and I do not suppress it any more in alcohol."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insisted nervy Liverpool deserved the win that kept them top of the Premier League, saying: "It took a long time, but we had to be patient. Maybe it took a penalty, but we'd had several chances before that and dominated the first period."

Liverpool have now stretched their unbeaten start to the season to 16 matches, while Adams will be bitterly disappointed he did not start his Premier League management career with a point, at least.

Benitez, though, was relieved his side maintained their composure and forced the victory, saying: "Portsmouth defended well with a lot of bodies behind the ball and it was not easy to find the space, you have to be very precise with the final pass.

"The pitch was wet and quick and it was not always easy to control the ball, but we were very dominant in the first period and had our chances and maintained possession. But in the second period we were a little nervy and when they started to play long balls up to (Peter) Crouch it was not easy for us."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Sami Hyypia
David James
Papa Bouba Diop
Steven Gerrard
Tony Adams

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