LONDON -- Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has dismissed suggestions that his players will refuse to shake the hand of Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam prior to Saturday’s Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium as "nonsense."
Adam has received the ire of Spurs supporters after he was involved in some high-profile tackles with the club’s former midfielder Gareth Bale, while he also been at the centre of contentious clashes with current duo Jan Vertonghen and Sandro in the last couple of seasons.
Scottish midfielder Adam -- who has been sent off twice against the White Hart Lane side -- stated in March he has nothing against the club, and Sherwood insists press reports that he will be snubbed by Spurs players in their latest meeting this weekend are misguided.
“I was aware of the reports, it’s nonsense,” stated Sherwood at his prematch news conference. “The players will do their duty and shake hands along that line to show respect to their opposition.
“I haven’t heard the boys talking about Charlie Adam at all. They’re just concentrating on the game. I don’t think it’s a problem. I would hate to think that every time I tackled someone they’d never shake my hand -- I would never have had a handshake.
“Listen, Charlie is a combative player and he tries to do his job the best that he possibly can. I like my players to do the same and sometimes you’re going to mistime them, but just get on with the game. It’s part and parcel of it, unfortunately.
“Forget about Charlie Adam. We respect Stoke, we respect the job that Mark Hughes has done there. He’s been given the time to build something there and he’s been showing the fruits of it recently.”
Sherwood went on to offer further insight into Sandro’s status within his squad, after the Brazilian turned to Twitter to inform his followers that he is not injured and is merely being left out of the Spurs team by his boss.
“There’s people ahead of him,” insisted Sherwood. “We’ll train again today and he’s trained well all week. He’s a good trainer but he’s got certain attributes that we require at certain times and other players have got other attributers that I need for different games.
“We’ve been dominating the football in most of our games recently and I think other people are ahead of him in regards to that.
“He’s one of the best in the Premier League at breaking up the game, but he’s had his injury problems, and when I think it’s right for him to go back in and give us the qualities that he shows then he’ll be back in.”
Sherwood also commented on the lack of first-team starts for Andros Townsend, as he looks to push his claims for a place in England’s World Cup squad in the final few weeks of the Premier League season.
“I’ve known Andros since he was a kid, but I have to worry about Tottenham before I worry about the national team unfortunately,” he added. “If everyone was worried about the national team, then there’d be more English players playing in other clubs, wouldn’t there.
“You’d have to ask their national managers. Whether they think it’s important to play in the Premier League for Tottenham or whoever, you’ll have to ask the guys themselves or their managers. I can’t be worrying about their World Cup.”
Michael Dawson could be in line to feature for Spurs at Stoke, having come through training successfully this week following a recent spell in the treatment room.