Andre Villas-Boas: 'Emmanuel Adebayor is key for Tottenham Hotpur'

Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates moments after scoring the opener on December 6, 2012
© PA Photos
Andre Villas-Boas says that Emmanuel Adebayor could bring Tottenham Hotspur success this season, if he can get over his injury problems.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas believes that under-fire striker Emmanuel Adebayor could be crucial to his side's chances of obtaining Champions League football.

The Togo international has received criticism after making a last-minute U-turn over whether or not to represent his country at the Africa Cup of Nations, a move that was not popular with his boss.

However, Villas-Boas is certain that the 28-year-old can play a significant role in bringing the North Londoners success this year.

"We are trying to unlock the best of Adebayor again," Villas-Boas told ESPN. "We want him at the same level as last year and we're doing everything we can to try and help him reach that level.

"Last year shows as an example of what we're trying to get out of him. The team has adapted its style of play, which can relate to the dynamic of how he adapts to the other players. Strikers live off goals and we're doing everything we can to try and unlock his full potential. We have been speaking to him about how he can get into that goalscoring positions and I have confidence in Ade.

"I'm not sure if it bothers him [how people view him]. Players build their own motivations. Perceptions and media opinions can influence the public in general, but I think the player strives on his own motivation in the end. The injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations took him out for lots of matches, but with the run we have until the end of the season he can still be the player we saw last season."

Spurs travel to Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday.

Spurs striker Manu Adebayor leaps to score a header against Reading on January 1, 2013
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