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Spurs star: Returning Adebayor can make a big impact - just like last season

12:16 22 January 2015

Emmanuel Adebayor (left) captained Tottenham against Sheffield United in last night

Emmanuel Adebayor (left) captained Tottenham against Sheffield United in last night's first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Andros Townsend believes the returning Emmanuel Adebayor can have a big impact in the last four months of the campaign – just like last season.

Andros Townsend scores the winning penalty against Sheffield UnitedAndros Townsend scores the winning penalty against Sheffield United

Adebayor was frozen out by former head coach Andre Villas-Boas in the first half of the 2013/14 term, making just one substitute appearance before December 18.

However, Tim Sherwood replaced Villas-Boas in the hot-seat at that point and immediately reinstated the Togo international forward, who went on to score 14 times in 24 games.

Adebayor has had a troubled campaign so far again this time, scoring just two goals in 12 games before the 2-1 home defeat at Stoke on November 9, when he criticised the home fans for a lack of support at White Hart Lane.

That was followed by a two-and-a-half month absence from the team due to injuries, illness and some time away from the club for personal reasons.

However, after coming on as a substitute against Sunderland on Saturday, he started last night’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Sheffield United at the Lane – and wore the armband.

The 30-year-old has been booed by some Spurs fans in both of his appearances this week, but Townsend believes he can be a key man as Tottenham bid for success on four fronts.

“Everyone knows what Manny can offer,” said the winger, who scored the only goal of last night’s tie from the penalty spot. “He scored loads of goals last season. He has had a few off-the-field problems this season, but he has got his head right and he has got himself fit.

“He has had a few niggles but he is now 100 per cent fit, so hopefully we will see the Emmanuel Adebayor of last season and he can start scoring goals for us.

“In his first game back on Saturday, he was fantastic and worked really hard for the cause. It was the same against Sheffield United. He worked hard, he had some nice touches and, even though there wasn’t much space for the forwards, he did well.

“Hopefully he’ll get another game on Saturday against Leicester in the FA Cup and he can get a goal. He is a fantastic player. He worked hard last night and hopefully the fans can see that.”

Spurs will take a 1-0 lead to Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane next Wednesday after last night’s narrow victory in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final at the Lane.

It took a second-half penalty to overcome the visiting League One side, with man of the match Townsend netting his fourth successful spot-kick from four attempts this season – despite the opponents’ goalkeeping coach correctly telling Blades No1 Mark Howard which way to go.

“I saw the goalkeeper looking at the bench, so I turned around and saw one of their coaches telling him which way to dive,” said Townsend. “But I still believed that if I hit it with enough power, their keeper wouldn’t get it. It turned out that way and set us on the way to a good win.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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