Adebayor not training with youth team, says Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino insists that out-of-favour striker Emmanuel Adebayor has not been cast away from the first team.

Mauricio Pochettino has denied reports striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been forced to train with Tottenham's youth team.

Adebayor has not featured for Tottenham's senior side since the second leg of their League Cup semi-final with Sheffield United in late January.

But speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at relegation-threatened London rivals QPR, Pochettino said: "Always he [Adebayor] trains with the first team. Is he part of my plans? Yes. Yes, all the players are with us in the first team."

Tottenham are six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United in the race for UEFA Champions League football and will need to be defensively sound against a QPR team featuring striker Charlie Austin, who has scored 15 goals this season.

"It's not easy because maybe seven or eight teams fight for it [the top four]," Pochettino added. "We need to go step by step, improve in our philosophy.

"We are in a good process. My worry now is always to improve. To learn and improve.

"We expect a very tough game. QPR are a strong team, they are playing at home and it will be a very difficult game. It's a local derby and the three points will be important for them and for us.

"Charlie Austin is a very good player, he has scored a lot of goals. We need to focus on him and [Bobby] Zamora, who is another good player."