By Site reporter
Thursday 01 May 2008 22:18:00
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Tony Adams is confident Pompey can give a better account of themselves in the Cup final than they did in reaching it.

Pompey's assistant manager is hoping the Blues can settle and play their normal passing game against Cardiff in just over a fortnight's time - much more effectively than against west Brom in the semi-finals.

But he has also warned the players they are not just there for a day out - they can celebrate only if and when they lift the trophy.

Recalling the semi-final, Adams told the Sports Mail: ‘We were still in that game at half-time but it’s crazy what that pitch and the occasion can do to players. I remember West Brom played with freedom and did really well in that first half.

‘The same couldn’t be said about us. People just had to pass the ball but for some reason they froze a bit. The occasion, it gets to people mentally. I’ve seen people react. I just wanted our players to do themselves justice and in the first half they just couldn’t.

‘They’re great players – they wanted to do well – but something about Wembley stopped them. That’s what it does. We told them at half-time “You’re great players, you can’t be playing like this”.
‘Luckily for us they freed up and the confidence came back.'

Adams says such periods in games where you know you are not playing to your full potential just have to be toughed out - and said the main thing was they won to earn themselves a return visit.

‘I think when you go through those periods you need a bit of resilience. But we’re going back, which is the great thing.

‘Our players can now go out there again and hopefully play and pass the ball in the way we know they are capable.

‘We’ve got to the final, that’s great, but put that away now. We’ll have a lovely day out now on May 17, but focus, prepare, be professional and keep your feet on the ground.

‘I’m a bit of a killjoy, I’m afraid. But I think until you actually put the trophy on the sideboard that’s the time to celebrate.’

Boro v Pompey preview - on this website on Friday night.


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