Dembele focuses on Spurs’ attacking potential

Mousa Dembele stopped short of backing interim manager Tim Sherwood for the Tottenham job, preferring instead to focus on a “very important” win at Southampton.

After a chaotic week in which Andre Villas-Boas was shown the door, Spurs secured a 3-2 victory at St Mary’s.

It was the first win of Sherwood’s temporary reign after Spurs exited the Capital One Cup against West Ham in his only other match in temporary charge.

The result and performance at St Mary’s have seen odds on him being handed the hotseat permanently shorten, with the former midfielder planning to talk to chairman Daniel Levy about the situation.

Glenn Hoddle, Louis van Gaal and Frank de Boer have also been linked with the vacancy, for which Dembele was keen not to comment when asked whether the players wanted Sherwood to get the post full-time.

“I don’t think I am going to talk about this now, but we have a good team,” the Belgium international said.

“If everybody is motivated we can do big things, and you saw that in the second half.”

The three points means Tottenham head into Christmas seventh in the Barclays Premier League and halted a run of back-to-back defeats, having lost to West Ham and been humiliated 5-0 by Liverpool.

“It was very important for us,” Dembele said. “I think there was a while that we won a few games, like three games in a row I think, then we had Liverpool.

“After that we played good against West Ham as well, even though we lost it.

“Against Southampton I thought the second half we played well, nice attacking football and were organised so it was very good.”

Dembele was forced to watch the second half at St Mary’s from the sidelines after twisting his ankle. Despite the knock, the 26-year-old expects to be available for the St Stephen’s Day clash with West Brom

The Baggies are also without a permanent manager, but caretaker boss Keith Downing will continue to encourage a “siege mentality” within the squad.

Downing’s first match in charge saw Albion end a four-match losing run with a spirited 1-1 draw at home to Hull on Saturday.

He now switches his attention to the clash at White Hart Lane and their trip to West Ham two days later.

Downing said: “I suppose there’s a bit less pressure on the lads because of what’s going on, but you’re always going to have the uncertainty of ‘who is going to come in?’ and ‘hopefully I can impress’.

“At half-time against Hull we just tried to settle down a bit. There was an edginess and a tension and we’ve got to try to settle things down and play with freedom and expression.”


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