New Portsmouth manager Tony Adams admits that he is taking a gamble in succeeding Harry Redknapp at Fratton Park.
The former Arsenal and England captain worked as Redknapp’s assistant and has now been appointed manager following his former boss’ weekend move to Tottenham.
Adams has previously spent an unsuccessful year in charge of Wycombe, but the 42-year-old has suitably impressed at Pompey to be handed his first managerial job in the Premier League on a two-and-a-half year contract.
“It is fantastic, I’m very honoured,” Adams – who joined Pompey in 2006 – told a press conference. “It is a great opportunity.
“I’d have been mad to turn it down. I’m very excited. It is like Christmas.
“It is a risk. It is a hard man to follow. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out. He did a great job.
“I’ve got some great players. And I was kind of responsible for bringing them to the club. I didn’t want them to give the job to anyone else.
“I would have been gutted. I thank them for showing the courage to appoint me.”
Adams has also admitted that he spoke to his former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before accepting the role.
“I am ready, it is the next step,” Adams added. “I spoke to Arsene, and he said, ‘welcome to hell’. I asked him, ‘are you scared? I’m coming for you’.”
Speculation has suggested that Redknapp will attempt to lure a number of his former players to White Hart Lane, but Adams insists he will do what he can to prevent a player exodus from Fratton Park.
“I’ll fight him,” Adams added. “That is why they are here. They are good players. I’m delighted that they are wanted, but it is my job to keep them here.
“It might not work, but at the minute they are doing well.”