Tottenham prepared to risk rest cure for talisman Mousa Dembele
Tottenham Hotspur are hoping Mousa Dembélé's hip injury can clear up with some rest and tender loving care rather than the surgeon's knife.
Spurs' play has slowed down worryingly since the Belgium midfielder was injured on international duty and his manager, Andre Villas-Boas, admitted yesterday the club has opted against surgery in the belief that he can recover in a fortnight.
"On Mousa, there is a diagnosis that can be interpreted in two ways," Villas-Boas said ahead of tonight's Europa League game at home to Maribor. "One is to have surgery immediately, but without certainty it will cure the problem. Or there is rest, manual therapy, swimming pool ... that allows the player the possibility of return within 10 to 15 days, so we take that option at the moment."
Villas-Boas insisted that Spurs can survive without him. "We had good games without Mousa," he said. "Against Chelsea we gave them a run for their money, we had the opportunity to win that game and we played well. We had extremely good games against Southampton and Norwich. Good players are missed but this squad is full of good players."
Tottenham were dismal against Wigan last Saturday, though, and the manager admitted that there have been talks about changing to a 4-4-2 system. The fans voiced their displeasure when Emmanuel Adebayor was brought on not for a midfielder but for Jermain Defoe.
"We have had the thoughts in between the technical staff about changing our structure," Villas-Boas revealed. "We have had success in the past with the system we are playing. We certainly have played 4-4-2 in some games when Adebayor has come on. It is something we look on because last year this club was successful in this system. We have the players to do it. For sure you will see us using it quite often during the season. If the right time is [now] I am not sure yet."
Adebayor has not started a game yet this season but Villas-Boas said he still had faith in the striker Spurs bought from Manchester City in August. "Certainly, there is no interest in selling him or either loaning," he said, about reported interest from Celta Vigo. "Unfortunately for him it has not been working out in terms of injuries. He has missed very important games, and a very important sequence of games. We have full belief in Adebayor, he is one of the greatest strikers in the world."
Sandro is out tonight and Jake Livermore faces a late fitness test.
Latest in Sport
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Sergio Garcia at centre of racism row as dispute with Tiger Woods continues
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.