Belfast Telegraph

Adebayor back for Spurs

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has Emmanuel Adebayor available for Saturday's Barclays 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."

Burnley start this weekend outside the Premier League's bottom three and Sean Dyche believes his men are now being viewed as "serious underdogs".

The Clarets took their seat at the top table back in August with the manager declaring last season's Sky Bet Championship runners-up could be considered the "biggest underdogs" in Premier League history.

But, despite not winning a game until November, they enter the festive schedule in 17th spot after accruing 11 points from the last 18 available.

And ahead of a tricky run which sees them face Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City to close out 2014, Dyche is aware that while Burnley remain unfancied, the perceptions from outside Turf Moor have shifted.

"I think people will probably take us a bit more seriously than they did in the first 10 games," he said.

"It doesn't mean we're not underdogs. We're going to White Hart Lane, there's only one favourite, we're playing Liverpool, there's only one favourite, we're playing Man City, there's only one favourite.

"I'm not doing us down, but there is. If you walk into any bookies they will be the favourites.

"I think there was a rare game when we played Hull and we weren't the underdogs. That's one game in 16.

"So there lies the truth, bookies rarely get it wrong with that sort of stuff.

"We're still underdogs, all I'm saying is we're maybe a bit more serious underdogs than maybe people thought at first.

"But that's the outside view. Managers and professionals know they have to be on their guard and they have to play well."

Burnley continue to be troubled by injury problems for their visit to White Hart Lane.

Michael Duff has had a minor setback in his recovery from a calf problem while fellow experienced heads Matt Taylor and Stephen Ward are sidelined by respective Achilles and ankle complaints.

Sam Vokes' return from his knee injury is imminent, yet the Wales international is more likely to appear in another game for the development squad on Monday, but Ben Mee has made a full recovery from illness.

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