SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Emmanuel Adebayor continued his Tottenham renaissance on Sunday, scoring twice to clinch a 3-2 victory at Southampton in Tim Sherwood's first Premier League match in temporary charge of the London club.
Frozen out by Andre Villas-Boas, who was fired on Monday, Adebayor has quickly repaid the faith Sherwood has shown in him.
After scoring in Tottenham's League Cup loss to West Ham on Wednesday, Adebayor kept his place in the starting lineup and secured the victory that puts his seventh-place team just six points behind leader Liverpool.
After Adam Lallana put Southampton in front, Adebayor volleyed Tottenham level in the 25th minute on his first league start of the season.
Tottenham went in front through Jos Hooiveld's own goal and, after Rickie Lambert tapped in a Southampton equalizer, Adebayor slotted in the winner.
"I want to thank all my teammates, they have been there for me, they tell me to keep working hard and my chance will come," Adebayor said. "To be here today I am very pleased, not just the goals but for the team and I am very happy for the new manager, the fans. They have been supporting me."
The Togo striker has struggled since his brother died earlier this year.
"It was emotionally difficult, he was my senior brother, for me, it's for him," he said. "He left a son behind. I want to take care of him and his family. I went to the funeral and when I came back I lost my place in the team.
"I kept doing my job and as my father told me 'keep working hard'. Today it paid off and I am very happy."
Belying the sense of a club in crisis, Tottenham has the best away record in the league this season.
But uncertainty over the manager's position continues, with Sherwood unsure if he will remain in charge for the next match, on Thursday against West Bromwich Albion, which is also searching for a new manager.
"I don't want (the job) on a temporary basis — I want it for the long term," Sherwood said.
Just a week after a 5-0 rout by Liverpool heralded the end of Villas-Boas' reign, this was a transformed Tottenham side — in the second half at least.