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Dembele admits Spurs guilt over AVB sacking and hails Adebayor impact

Mousa Dembele in action for Tottenham against West Ham. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images) Mousa Dembele in action for Tottenham against West Ham. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Thursday, December 19, 2013
3:00 PM

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has admitted that the Spurs players are feeling guilty over their recent form.

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Chairman Daniel Levy acted decisively by axing head coach Andre Villas-Boas, with Tim Sherwood taking temporary charge, but the Belgian international admits there is a collective responsibility in the camp.

“I think everyone feels guilty and that’s a normal thing,” he said. “It’s a team sport, it’s not one guy that’s responsible, everybody is responsible.

“Everyone has a piece (of what went wrong). Everybody feels responsible.

“We have talked among the team already and we said to each other ‘now let’s do it, it’s everybody’s fault.’ We are one team, all together.”

He added: “It has been very tough. We’re used to train under Villas-Boas and see him every day.

“It’s a new change so we have to adapt. We’re used to another manager and now we have this one, but everybody is still positive. You could see that out on the pitch.”

Spurs were playing at a much faster pace during their 2-1 defeat to West Ham and attacked from the off.

Emmanuel Adebayor gave the Lilywhites the lead but goals from Matt Jarvis and Modibo Maiga sent the Hammers through to the Capital One Cup semi finals.

“We started very motivated and from the first minute the supporters were behind us,” Dembele added.

“For 70 minutes we played quite well, but after that we dropped and started playing differently.

“I think we got tired and different things happened. It was very disappointing for us because the confidence was high, we were very motivated and we lost.”

He added: “[Sherwood] made a few changes and we responded very well.

“Of course we just had to work with Tim for just one day and it is difficult to put all your ideas on a team in that time. We played well.”

Adebayor was a bright spot for Tottenham as he worked hard throughout the game, tracking back and setting up counter attacks before scoring with a thumping volley.

The Togolese striker was making his first start for Spurs this season after being frozen out by Villas-Boas and looked as if he was trying to prove a point to him.

“It was not just his goal, he played well in the game,” Dembele said.

“He was a target man and when you played it to him, he could return it and we would play off him.

“I think Defoe played perfect too so we know we have this option as well. It’s always good when you see players with a lot of quality in the team.

He added: “Of course he’s hungry. You could see that in training for a long time.

“We have a very good squad and everyone is very hungry because we have a lot of competition for places in the team.

“Everybody is very sharp every day, but now we need to show it on the pitch that everything is not finished.”

Despite the axing of Villas-Boas, Spurs are still in contention for a top four spot as they are only five points adrift as the halfway point of the season nears.

And Dembele knows all is not lost.

“We don’t have to be negative,” he said. “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.”

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