Friday 27 April 2018

Pochettino: No issue with Adebayor

Mauricio Pochettino, pictured, is unlikely to play Emmanuel Adebayor against the club he nearly joined on deadline day
Mauricio Pochettino, pictured, is unlikely to play Emmanuel Adebayor against the club he nearly joined on deadline day

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists he still has a "good relationship" with Emmanuel Adebayor, despite the striker not featuring in any of Spurs' last five matches.

Adebayor is unlikely even to make the bench for Sunday's Barclays Premier League game against West Ham, to whom the striker almost secured a January loan move before chairman Daniel Levy blocked the switch.

The 30-year-old seems surplus to requirements under Pochettino given he has not played since coming off the bench in Tottenham's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Leicester almost a month ago.

Pochettino said: "My relationship with Ade? It's a good relationship, the only problem is I need to pick 18 players for every game.

"Now I am picking (Harry) Kane or (Roberto) Soldado but the relationship is good."

Adebayor's absence has been overshadowed by the irrepressible form of Kane, who is expected to return to the Spurs starting line-up on Sunday after he was rested for Thursday night's 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.

Tottenham face a demanding schedule in the coming weeks, with six games in 17 days including next week's return leg in Florence and the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea.

"It's a critical period as we have a lot of finals," Pochettino said.

"Sunday is a final, Thursday is a final, next Sunday is the Cup final.

"It's true we have very tough games. We need all our energy and to be focused in every game."

Tottenham must try to juggle their cup commitments with the league, where they currently sit sixth and only three points off the top four.

West Ham's own European ambitions have been dented of late, with last weekend's 4-0 FA Cup humiliation at the hands of West Brom coming on the back of three league games without a win.

The dip in form has prompted speculation about the future of Hammers manager Sam Allardyce, whose contract expires in the summer.

"It's difficult to put (myself) in his place. I admire Sam Allardyce, we have a very good relationship," Pochettino said.

"I am how I am, always with one-year contract or with a five-year contract - my style and my thoughts are the same but I think that to develop a project you need time.

"In football it's difficult for the clubs to give time to work because we need the positive results. If not we are in trouble."

Pochettino, who has no injury concerns, rested Kane, Ryan Mason and Mousa Dembele against Fiorentina and all three are likely to come back in against the Hammers.

Meanwhile, Allardyce believes he could have got the best out of Adebayor had he been able to land the striker last month , on the final day of the January transfer window.

Adebayor has played just three times for Spurs since their defeat to Stoke on November 9 and has also been the recipient of jeers from home fans during that time.

"Goals," was Allardyce's simple reply when asked what the signing of Adebayor would have brought to West Ham.

"If you see where he has gone and his initial impact at where he has been would be that he comes into a football club and scores goals on a regular basis.

"There is obviously one of those players that you have to look at him and as a manager and say 'how do I react with him and interact with him and on the basis of how well I interact is on the basis of how well he plays for us'.

"So you use your management skills in terms of looking at his personality, like you do with most players and talking about wanting the best out of him while you are here, and wanting him to enjoy your football and do what you do best - play and score goals.

"I never really think I have anybody signed until I know they are at the training ground at the final pieces, however long, or short the contract is. It looked a really good possibility but I was keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

"If you are in the transfer window and a quality player comes your way and you think he is a quality player, some people say 'do you need a player in that position?' - but the bottom line is that he is a quality player.

"If you can get him, for me you get him if you can afford him. That is what we tried to do. There was such a short time frame at that time it was not possible to be pulled off."

Winston Reid and James Collins will return to the West Ham squad at Tottenham.

The defensive duo have been missing with hamstring problems but are both back in training - as are Diego Poyet and Cheikhou Kouyate, who is available despite suffering a minor arm injury earlier in the week.

Morgan Amalfitano is suspended and Nene, who was signed earlier in the week after Andy Carroll (knee) had been ruled out for the season, will also miss out as he is not yet match fit.

Press Association

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