Adams backs pompey to rise

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Portsmouth's trip to Germany started in farce and ended in calamity - but manager Tony Adams has insisted his team are strong enough to bounce back from Thursday night's UEFA Cup exit.

Pompey's air carrier went bust hours before they were due to fly out on Wednesday, leaving the squad grounded for several hours. And goalkeeper David James continued the trend of bizarre occurrences at the Volkswagen Arena as he gifted Wolfsburg a truly horrific winner in their 3-2 victory.

"We get on with the next game. We've got a very big game on Sunday," said Adams who is confident his chastened side will be able to regroup ahead of this weekend's trip to West Brom.

"We move on, we take the positives and we will try to improve defensively, try to stop making mistakes and go into the West Brom game and try to pick up three points."

The teams had shared four goals in the first 23 minutes of their Group E match - Jermain Defoe and Arnold Mvuemba scoring for the visitors - but with 16 minutes left James passed straight to the dangerous Zvjezdan Misimovic, who tapped into an empty net.

Thankfully for the England stopper, Braga's win at Heerenveen would have meant that even a draw would have been insufficient for Pompey to go through.

As has so often been the case recently, Portsmouth's problems were at the back where they struggled to contain an enterprising Wolfsburg team for much of the game.

"We could have done better, I think we didn't stop enough crosses. Our full-backs have to get out there and stop them," Adams said.

"And when it does come into our box, I expect midfielders and central defenders to deal with it as well."

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David James
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