Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor focused on Premier League campaign despite Europa League last-16 tie with Benfica looming on the horizon
Adebayor struck twice against Dnipro to help Spurs into the last-16 but he remains focused on the league matches with Chelsea and Cardiff first
Saturday 01 March 2014
Emmanuel Adebayor is refusing to let his mind wander towards the mouth-watering last-16 Europa League tie with Benfica as the striker looks to fire Tottenham into the Barclays Premier League's top four.
The 30-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life at White Hart Lane under head coach Tim Sherwood, netting five goals in his last four appearances including a crucial brace in Tottenham's Europa League victory over Dnipro on Thursday.
That 3-2 aggregate success has secured a clash with Portuguese giants Benfica but, for Adebayor, it is a case of getting back to domestic business when Spurs welcome Premier League strugglers Cardiff to north London on Sunday.
"I'm not thinking about Benfica yet," he said.
"I'm thinking about Cardiff and Chelsea, then Benfica. Right now, my head is on Cardiff on Sunday.
"We are playing well and playing for a place in the Champions League, Cardiff are playing to survive. They will be up for it and we have to want it more."
An unexpected defeat at Norwich last weekend means Sherwood's side are now six points adrift of Liverpool in the final Champions League position.
Midfielder Mousa Dembele is hoping the feel-good factor of securing safe passage in Europe can help get Spurs back on track in their hunt for the top four.
"It is a very important game," he said.
"It is the right time for us to get them (Cardiff) at home after our recent results at White Hart Lane and I think everybody is very happy and maybe a bit more confident after the Dnipro win.
"We hope now that we can see off Cardiff correctly and professionally. It was an important thing for us to beat Dnipro.
"Some people say that for English teams, the Europa League is not so important. But for us I think it's very important.
"We want to achieve something this year and making progress in Europe is a big help."
Sherwood has no fresh injury concerns heading into the clash with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Bluebirds, with England defender Kyle Walker in contention to make his return from a hip problem.
Sandro could make his first Premier League start under Sherwood having recovered from a calf injury which had sidelined him since December - the Brazil midfielder played 75 minutes of the Dnipro win and is likely to retain his place.
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