‘He needs to get much fitter’ Tottenham boss handed selection boost but questions striker’s condition
PUBLISHED: 15:51 19 December 2014 | UPDATED: 15:54 19 December 2014
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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has Emmanuel Adebayor available for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley as Spurs look to carry the momentum of the midweek thrashing of Newcastle.
The Togo striker has returned from compassionate leave but is not yet fully fit, so is unlikely to start for Pochettino, who has a fully fit squad in buoyant mood after the 4-0 defeat of the Magpies.
“He’s available,” Pochettino said.
“After, we will see if I pick him or not. I’m happy with Ade and how he’s been training. Maybe he’s not 100 per cent yet, but he’s not far away.
“He’s getting better. He needs training, he needs to improve, especially his physical condition, but he’s getting better.”
Adebayor has not played for Spurs since criticising the White Hart Lane supporters following last month’s loss to Stoke.
The enigmatic striker suggested it would be better to play away from home due to the atmosphere, which Pochettino believes is positive again following the Capital One Cup quarter-final humbling of Newcastle.
The Argentinian added: “It’s important to create this relationship. When you create this relationship between the supporters and the team, after that comes only good things.
“The energy is positive after a victory like Wednesday.”
Spurs play a Burnley side whose three wins this season have come in the last six games, when they have lost just once.
“Burnley are a very good team,” former Southampton boss Pochettino added.
“We played them one year ago at St Mary’s (with Southampton). It’s the same team, same philosophy and they are very consistent.
“Every game you need to win, more here, at Tottenham. In our mind is to get three points tomorrow, but we have full respect for our opponent.
“It’s important to keep the level of performance that we had on Wednesday and to go tomorrow ready to compete.
“We need to suffer, because in front of us we have a very tough team.”
Tottenham play Leicester, Manchester United and Chelsea following the Burnley clash, but Pochettino is not looking ahead.
He said: “Our priority is tomorrow. We never think after the next game and try to put out the best team to win the game.”
Provisional squad: Lloris, Vorm, Friedel, Walker, Naughton, Dier, Rose, Davies, Fazio, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Stambouli, Dembele, Paulinho, Mason, Capoue, Bentaleb, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Lennon, Townsend, Soldado, Kane, Adebayor.