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Mauricio Pochettino plays down Emmanuel Adebayor's absence

By Simon Peach

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino had no hesitation in granting Emmanuel Adebayor's request to return home to deal with a family matter.

As the squad made their way to Turkey for tonight's Europa League clash with Besiktas, Spurs announced the Togo frontman would be absent due to a "private matter".

Adebayor instead returned to Africa for what the north London club called "personal reasons", with reports suggesting a close relative of the striker had fallen ill.

Pochettino confirmed that it was a family-related matter and that the striker had requested permission to return home.

"When you have a problem, it is difficult to give your best," the Spurs boss said.

"I have always told you that players are human. Many problems happen and it is important to fix this type of problem because family is always important.

"But we hope when he comes back he will be ready to start training and to help the team."

Pochettino rejected talk Adebayor could be absent throughout the Christmas period and went as far as suggesting there was a small chance he may be back for this weekend's trip to Swansea.

The former Argentina international admits that is unlikely, but played down the impact his absence could have over the hectic festive period.

"We know we have a lot of games ahead. It is a very busy period, but the first thing is always if you are okay, if you are ready, if you are clear in your mind," said Pochettino.

"When things like that happen, it is very difficult for the player to concentrate.

"Now, it is important that he takes time, sorts out the problem and when he is back is ready to train and be available."

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