Home truths hurt for Pompey

TONY ADAMS was as honest as they come as a player with Arsenal.

Now, as he confronts the first mini crisis of his Premier League managerial career, the Portsmouth manager hopes a few painful home truths will revive his ailing side.

This limp defeat means Pompey have now won only two of nine games since he replaced Harry Redknapp at Fratton Park. The damage was done inside the first three minutes after goals from former Portsmouth midfielder Matt Taylor and Ricardo Gardner.

Peter Crouch replied with his eighth goal of the league campaign but they could not build on that header, and their response left Adams distinctly unimpressed.

“I love this job but I do not like being awful in the first 15 minutes of a game and I told the players so,” he said. “They were a little bit shocked by my reaction but I intend to be honest with my players throughout my career as a coach and manager. I am what I am and do my job. I am not worried (about our form). I will battle to the next game.”

Portsmouth made a nightmare start and Taylor showed a cool head to make the breakthrough after just 49 seconds by clipping his effort beyond David James.

Adams read the riot act in the dug-out as his side were dismantled with ease. The players responded with Crouch heading in a glorious cross from Niko Kranjcar.

However they failed to take the initiative and allowed Bolton to regain the momentum.

Gary Megson was delighted at the way his side unsettled Portsmouth from the start. “They are a class act when you look at the number of England players they have in their ranks. We dominated the match so much I did not expect such a close scoreline.”

BOLTON (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen 7, Steinsson 6, Cahill 6, A O’Brien 6, Samuel 6, Davies 6, Nolan 7, McCann 6, Taylor 8, Gardner 6 (Muamba 83, 6), Elmander 6.

Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Riga, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.

PORTSMOUTH (4-4-2): James 6, Pamarot 6, Campbell 6, Distin 6, Hreidarsson 5, Diop 5 (Nugent 75, 5), Davis 5, Hughes 5 (Diarra 63, 5), Kranjcar 6, Defoe 6, Crouch 7.

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Little, Kanu, Armand Traore, Wilson.

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire) 6: Calm and authoritative throughout.

MATCH RATING: *** Never quite lived up to its remarkable start but still lively enough.

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