Spurs star reflects on draw at Sunderland and his 100th Tottenham appearance
22:30 14 September 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Emmanuel Adebayor was pleased that Tottenham reversed the slow starts from their defeat against Liverpool and struck early in both halves at Sunderland on Saturday.
However, the forward was bitterly disappointed to lose the lead twice at the Stadium of Light and leave Wearside with a single point after the 2-2 draw.
Spurs’ previous outing had been a 3-0 home defeat against Liverpool before the international break, when they started both periods badly, conceding an eighth-minute opener and then a 49th-minute penalty.
It was a very different story at Sunderland on Saturday as Tottenham flew out of the blocks and scored early goals both times they left the visitors’ dressing room.
Nacer Chadli struck in the second minute and, although Adam Johnson immediately levelled, Christian Eriksen re-established the lead three minutes after half-time – only for the Black Cats to equalise again through Harry Kane’s unlucky own goal.
Adebayor was left to reflect on some positive factors – the rapid starts and a dominant overall performance – but a hugely frustrating result.
“Before the game the manager told us that we should start better than the way we did against Liverpool, which we have done,” said the striker.
“It’s quite difficult when you score and then they equalise straight away. That made it complicated for us, and then in the second half the same thing happened – we scored early and then, from a free-kick, they came back to 2-2 and we drew the game.
“It’s a difficult afternoon for us but we have to keep ourselves up and keep playing.
“Obviously we are disappointed, we could have won the game but we drew. We’ll watch the game again and see where the mistakes are coming from and try to correct them as quickly as possible.
“Does if feel worse because we played so well? That’s the most disappointing thing, because if you play badly and you draw then you say ‘ok’.
“Sunderland’s fans and the team will be happy because they played badly and the manager gets away with one point - and we played well and we’re going away with one point. We are very disappointed and hopefully we’ll recover for the next game.”
Adebayor was involved in both of Tottenham’s goals as he made his 100th appearance for the club in all competitions.
As he considers the highs and lows of his time under Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood and now Mauricio Pochettino, he believes the Lilywhites are heading in the right direction under their new head coach.
“Some things have gone well [for me], some things have gone badly but I’m a footballer so I just have to try to do my best for the club and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
“I’m playing my football, I’m enjoying myself. In the difficult moments you have to try and correct it, and I think I’ve done it quite well. I’m very happy playing for Tottenham.
“The squad is looking good. The manager needs a few more months to get us to understand his philosophy of playing, and I think when we understand that it will make life easier for us, and with this kind of game we will definitely be winning it.
“I’ve got my free role, I haven’t changed [this season]. The manager has always told me to play as I know how to play. I can come out of the box, I can move out on the left, on the right, and I can play my football as I like.
“I’m very happy with my performance [on Saturday]. Obviously I’m disappointed for the team but we have to keep going and keep enjoying ourselves on the pitch.”
Tottenham return to European action on Thursday as they travel to face Serbian outfit Partizan Belgrade in their first group match.
Given the strength of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals, and the money that some of them have spent to strengthen their squads during the summer, there is a theory that Spurs’ best chance of qualifying for the Champions League could be by winning the Europa League.
But Adebayor said: “I don’t know about that. I know finishing in the top four is going to be tough so we just need to keep going.
“Hopefully some of the top four will drop some points and we will take some points and finish in the top four – which I know is not going to be easy.
“The Europa League is another tournament which we want to win, but at the end of the day our target is to finish in the top four. We’ll do everything to finish in the top four.”
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