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

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution