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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album