Clint Dempsey happy with strikers role at Tottenham

American scored dramatic equaliser against Manchester United yesterday

Clint Dempsey is more than happy playing up front for Tottenham - and insists he will not surrender his place in the team when Emmanuel Adebayor returns from the African Nations Cup.

Andre Villas-Boas pushed Dempsey up front alongside Jermain Defoe yesterday and the American repaid the Spurs manager by grabbing a dramatic 93rd minute equaliser against a shell-shocked Manchester United.

With Adebayor away in South Africa for at least Tottenham's next two games, Villas-Boas has no other option but to continue playing the American in an advanced role as he is unwilling to enter the transfer market for a short-term fix.

Adebayor had kept Dempsey out for most of the festive period, but the American is now determined to make the most of his run in the first team.

"Ade is a great player and he is going to be missed, but there is competition. You try and fight for a spot and when you get an opportunity to play you want to stand up and take advantage of that opportunity," Dempsey said following the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.

"For me it was a slow start to the season so it's good to be chipping in with goals now and repaying the club for their belief in me.

"Hopefully there will be more goals to come because that's why they brought me here."

Dempsey thought his chance to make an impression had slipped by when he stabbed a shot at David De Gea from close range as Spurs piled on the pressure following Robin van Persie's opener.

But he kept plugging away up front and combined well with Defoe before netting the last-gasp equaliser.

Dempsey is used to playing in the hole or down the left flank, but the way he popped up in the box to turn home Aaron Lennon's pass was the sign of a true goal-poaching striker.

"I can play that position (striker)," said Dempsey, who has seven goals this season.

"It's a position I feel comfortable in, a position I have played a lot this season and I feel like I am starting to feel more comfortable there.

"Now it's about just trying to create more chances in the attacking third, whether it's getting goals or getting assists and I feel like I have been on a good run of form."

Brazil and Internacional striker Leandro Damiao has been heavily linked with Spurs, but Villas-Boas reiterated last night that he does not want to sign a new forward before the transfer window shuts in the next 10 days.

The Tottenham manager, whose team now face Leeds in the FA Cup on Sunday, has no doubt about Dempsey's ability to be a leading marksman.

"Clint is a goal scorer," the Portuguese told Spurs TV Online.

"He sniffs these opportunities like no one else.

"He scored two goals the other day against Coventry.

"He is always up there in the face of the goalkeeper. The reason why we bought him was exactly this - his ambition to score goals."

Despite the impressive comeback, Tottenham know their lead over Everton will be cut to just one point if the Toffees beat Southampton tonight.

And with tough league games coming up over the next fortnight, Villas-Boas knows his team must not let their eight-match unbeaten run come to an end.

"The United game was a good reference point for us, but it does not stop here," the 35-year-old said.

"We have taken a few points off Manchester United this season but it's against the other teams that you define your position in the league.

"We have two away games in the league now against West Brom and Norwich.

"It is going to be extremely difficult and hopefully we can continue showing these performances."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific