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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz