Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor claimed he cannot stop smiling after he was handed a return to the Spurs first-team following the sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas.
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Adebayor was frozen out by Villas-Boas for much of this season and his future at the club appeared to be bleak so long as the Portuguese tactician remained at the helm.
Yet just 48 hours after Villas-Boas was fired, Adebayor was back scoring at White Hart Lane, and while his return ultimately ended in a disappointing Capital One Cup exit at the hands of West Ham, the Togo striker is relieved to be playing once again.
“I’ve still got my smile on my face. I got a chance, I took it well. I’m very happy,” stated Adebayor, who received a warm reception on his return to the team.
“I was hanging in there waiting for my chance. Tim [Sherwood, Spurs’ interim coach] gave me the chance to play football again. Now the most important thing is me scoring goals, confidence is back.”
Adebayor is hoping to start Sunday’s Premier League game against Southampton after claiming his team-mates can turn around their season if they play with passion at St Mary’s Stadium.
“We just have to keep working hard, put more heart into it and it will be better,” he added. “Hopefully this Sunday we’ll have a chance to win it. We have to get out there with confidence, with belief and take the three points.”
Meanwhile, Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele stressed there is no need for Tottenham players to allow their season to unravel, as he admitted he shares a sense of responsibility for Villas-Boas’ sacking.
“I think everyone feels guilty and that’s a normal thing,” said the Belgium international. “It’s a team sport, it’s not one guy that’s responsible, everybody is responsible. We are one team, all together.
“We don’t have to be negative. It is not that bad. We expect so much of ourselves and we know we can achieve big things. When it doesn’t happen you’re very disappointed.
“In the last few games we could have done much better, so we have to stay with the same motivation. It has been a tough few days but everybody is still positive. You could see that out on the pitch.”