English Premiership

Adebayor unfazed by hostility

2015-01-20 08:43
Emmanuel Adebayor (AP)

London - Emmanuel Adebayor insists he won't be fazed if Tottenham supporters give him another hostile reception in Wednesday's League Cup semi-final clash against Sheffield United.

Adebayor's appearance as a second half substitute in Tottenham's 2-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday was his first for nine weeks because of injury, illness and a period of compassionate leave due to family issues.

But the Togo star's prolonged absence hasn't made Tottenham fans grow any fonder of a player who irritated them earlier this season when he claimed the team performed better away from home due to the excessive pressure put on them by the White Hart Lane faithful.

Adebayor was already regarded by some as an uncommitted member of Mauricio Pochettino's squad before that ill-judged outburst, so it was hardly surprising the 30-year-old was jeered by sections of the crowd when he returned to action at the weekend.

With Tottenham taking on Nigel Clough's third tier side in the semi-final first leg at the Lane, Adebayor's presence could overshadow an important night for the north Londoners.

But the former Arsenal and Manchester City star says he won't be losing any sleep worrying about the fans' reaction.

"I don't want to understand it, but for me, I am not here to win any fans back. I just want to do my job as a professional," Adebayor said.

"With my age, to be honest with you, I don't want to look because, no matter what you do, there will always be some that hate you.

"I don't know if I will win the fans over, I just want to play football and enjoy myself.

"I know if you do good, they will applaud you. I know if you do bad, they will boo you. It is as simple as that."

Adebayor has scored just twice this season, with his last goal coming in October, but the continuing struggles of Spanish striker Roberto Soldado have opened the way for the towering forward to potentially return to the starting line-up as a partner for in-form Harry Kane.

After a troubled season which also saw him claim in November that his mother was practising black magic on him, Adebayor is adamant he wants to stay out of the headlines, and he praised Pochettino for refusing to be swayed against him by the all the negative publicity.

"We have a very good relationship between men because I am an adult and he knows what I have been through," Adebayor said.

"He knows what I can achieve and what I can do as a footballer so, yeah, we have a mutual respect for each other.

"It is always good to have a manager that you can talk to as a friend and as a brother.

"He helped me a lot. When I have got a problem, I will definitely go to him and tell him 'listen, this is my situation'.

"He always finds a solution to it, so it is always good to have a man manager like him."

Tottenham are firm favourites to advance to the Wembley final against Liverpool or Chelsea, but United will fancy their chances of adding another scalp after their giant-killing spree over the last 18 months.

Clough's team, currently seventh in League One, have knocked out West Ham and Southampton en route to the last four and shocked QPR in the FA Cup earlier this month.

Those impressive exploits followed last season's run to the FA Cup semi-finals, which included wins against Aston Villa and Fulham.

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