Tony Adams has told the club's owner Alexandre Gaydamak he will quit as manager if the club sell striker England Jermain Defoe - or any of the other players he wants to keep - in the January transfer window.
Defoe spurned a hat-trick of chances to bury wobbling West Ham in a goalless draw at Upton Park on Saturday.
Adams, who took over from Harry Redknapp three weeks ago, castigated former Hammers front-man Defoe for "maybe trying too hard" but also insisted: "He is going to help me stay in this job by scoring goals."
Adams added: "He's a threat (in front of goal) and I'm sure there will be some big clubs trying to get him but hands off because he's mine.
"Big offers? I can't wait .... because the owner has been very supportive and although I've not made an issue of it I've told him that everyone stays who I want to stay or I don't do the job.
"I told him that at the very start. He was very supportive of Harry and now he's being very supportive of me.
"He phones me on the way home and says 'what do you want, Tony, how can I help you and I say keep Defoe where he is and there's no problem. He says fine, anything else?' He's totally behind me."
Reports in September that Gaydamak would either sell Portsmouth or offload star players to ease the club's crippling debts were seen as a prime reason why Redknapp jumped at Tottenham's plea to drag them out of the Premier League basement where sacked Spaniard Juande Ramos had left them.
But ex-Arsenal and England ace Adams, who had been number two to Redknapp since July 2006 and claims he has his eye on one or two signings in the next window, clearly has huge faith in his employer's continuing loyalty to the cause.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.