TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas feels in-form striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s new-found confidence can be decisive in tonight’s Europa League quarter-final tie with Basel.
Three of the Togo star’s six club goals this term have come in his lasting five outings, including a volley in the 2-2 draw with Basel at White Hart Lane last week.
Spurs have travelled to Switzerland without key attackers Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and top-scorer Gareth Bale, but Villas-Boas believes Adebayor’s form ensures the north Londoners can cope without the injured trio.
“He is driven by his last goals and last performance and he is doing extremely well,” said the Portuguese coach. “Finding the back of the net allows him to go into the game with more confidence and I always think it’s self-belief from the player, rather than anything else, that helps them improve.”
For Spurs to reach their first European semi-final since 1984 they must win at St Jakob-Park or strike at least three times in a score draw to advance on away goals.
Yet Villas-Boas, who won the Europa League with Porto in 2010, remains determined to take Spurs all the way to the final in May.
“Football is a surprise,” he said. “Reaching a prestigious semi-final after so many years for Tottenham should be the motivation we need to drive us through.”
SPURS are yet to win away in Europe this season, but are likely to have to do so at the sixth attempt tonight against Basel to progress in the Europa League
1-1 v Panathinaikos
1-1 v NK Maribor
0-0 v Lazio
1-1 v Olympique Lyonnais
4-1 v Inter Milan
The last time Spurs won away in Europe was on 15 December 2011 when Jermain Defoe netted in a 4-0 win against Shamrock Rovers