Tottenham manager: Mousa Dembele declines opportunity to back Tim Sherwood for the full-time role

The Spurs midfielder instead focuses on the victory over Southampton

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 courtesy of Emmanuel Adebayor's brace and a Jos Hooiveld own goal.

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 sometime on Monday.

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.

"I think we are a very good team and it is important we win the game for anyone.

"I think with our strength we have to do big things, so that is why we are happy we won."

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 organising so it was very good.

"It was very important. Everybody knows to come to Southampton and win the game is very difficult. They are a very good team."

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 Boxing Day clash with West Brom - a match in which Adebayor could well again prove key.

Cast aside by Villas-Bas, the Togo striker has started both matches under Sherwood and repaid that faith with three goals.

Asked if Adebayor's rejuvenation was like a new signing, Dembele said: "Yeah, it looks like that. I think against Southampton, and the last game as well, he was very important for us.

"He scored his goals but as well as that he played a good game.

"You can play the ball to him and he will keep it, he is going to do something with it. That is very important for any team."

Adebayor proved a nuisance throughout the afternoon for Saints, who have now gone six matches without a win.

Tough-looking trips to Cardiff and Everton now await, but James Ward-Prowse is confident they will soon come good.

"We're disappointed to lose again," the 19-year-old midfielder said. "I think we're all missing the winning feeling.

"I think we were just beaten by a good Tottenham Hotspur side, who were obviously galvanised under the new manager.

"We knew before the game it would be difficult. Obviously, they're trying to prove a point to the new manager and I think they did that.

"These sorts of things happen during the season, but it's a test of character for us, and I know among us we're mentally strong enough to get through that."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat