Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists he still has a “good relationship” with Emmanuel Adebayor, despite the striker not featuring in any of Spurs’ last five matches.
Adebayor is unlikely even to make the bench for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game against West Ham, to whom the striker almost secured a January loan move before chairman Daniel Levy blocked the switch.
The 30-year-old seems surplus to requirements under Pochettino given he has not played since coming off the bench in Tottenham’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Leicester almost a month ago.
Pochettino said: “My relationship with Ade? It’s a good relationship, the only problem is I need to pick 18 players for every game.
“Now I am picking (Harry) Kane or (Roberto) Soldado but the relationship is good.”
Adebayor’s absence has been overshadowed by the irrepressible form of Kane, who is expected to return to the Spurs starting line-up on Sunday after he was rested for Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.
Tottenham face a demanding schedule in the coming weeks, with six games in 17 days including next week’s return leg in Florence and the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea.
“It’s a critical period as we have a lot of finals,” Pochettino said.
“Sunday is a final, Thursday is a final, next Sunday is the Cup final.
“It’s true we have very tough games. We need all our energy and to be focused in every game.”
Tottenham must try to juggle their cup commitments with the league, where they currently sit sixth and only three points off the top four.
West Ham’s own European ambitions have been dented of late, with last weekend’s 4-0 FA Cup humiliation at the hands of West Brom coming on the back of three league games without a win.
The dip in form has prompted speculation about the future of Hammers manager Sam Allardyce, whose contract expires in the summer.
“It’s difficult to put (myself) in his place. I admire Sam Allardyce, we have a very good relationship,” Pochettino said.
“I am how I am, always with one-year contract or with a five-year contract – my style and my thoughts are the same but I think that to develop a project you need time.
“In football it’s difficult for the clubs to give time to work because we need the positive results. If not we are in trouble.”
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