By Site reporter
Wednesday 21 May 2008 23:08:00
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Pompey will begin their UEFA Cup campaign on Thursday, September 18 - and it looks like Tony Adams and Niko Kranjcar will both be around to be part of it.  

The Blues go straight into the first round of the UEFA Cup without needing to take part in the qualifying rounds after winning the FA Cup. 

Pompey will contest the Community Shield against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday, August 10.  

The new Premier League season kicks off six days later and on Friday, August 29, the draw will be made in Monaco for the UEFA Cup first round. The first round, second leg tie is staged on Thursday, October 2.

If Pompey progress they will go into a group of five teams, playing the other four sides once. The first three sides then go into a 32-team knockout stage, including eight sides from the Champions League.

The final is in Istanbul on May 20, 2009.

And Pompey have had a post-Wembley boost from both coach Adams and playmaker Kranjcar, who have poured cold water on talk they could move on now the season is over.

Adams is known to want to be a No 1 somewhere while Kranjcar has been attracting interest from Arsenal. Both say they are happy at Pompey - for now.

Kranjcar told The News: 'Portsmouth is a great place to be at the moment. We have something major to look forward to next season. Everyone wants to play for the biggest teams in the world, but at the moment I'm very happy at Portsmouth and even more happy to play for the team that won the FA Cup.

'Playing football, you always try to achieve the best you can. When I came to Pompey, I didn't expect we would be challenging for the title, but you hope at the bottom of your heart that you can win the Carling Cup or the FA Cup – and now we have.

'Hopefully, this is the first of many trophies we can win. We have made great progress as a club and now we're ready for another experience when we play in Europe. The whole project takes another step forward now.'

Adams told the same paper: 'At this stage, I've got five weeks left on my contract and I am going to fulfil it. I've done two great years down here and it's been brilliant.

'We'll talk about the future if they want to talk about the future, but I've got no other offers whatsoever at the moment – no-one is speaking to me.

'Before qualifying for the UEFA Cup, I think I'd probably learned as much as I could here, I have to be honest. I don't want to waste time, I don't want to waste their time and I'm sure they don't want to waste mine. It comes to a point where there's nothing more I can do.

'But now there's the UEFA Cup to think about. I've never been a number two in that competition, and that's tempting. That's another dimension, I think. To take a team into Europe is something I haven't done so all of a sudden that becomes an interest.

'The fact is, with Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup, if they offered me a position as number two again for another year, another two years or another three years I would definitely consider it. I have never done it and all of a sudden that becomes attractive.'

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