LONDON — Tottenham’s players dread playing in front of their home fans and are so gripped by fear that they are reluctant to receive the ball, striker Emmanuel Adebayor said.
After losing four of six home games, the pressure is increasing for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose team has fallen to 12th in the Premier League.
The latest setback at White Hart Lane came Sunday when unhappy fans vented their fury after a 2-1 loss to Stoke.
“When you are playing in front of your own crowd, you want them to support you, but now it is like going through a sad moment and your family (is) not welcoming you home,” Adebayor said. “I think it might be better to play away from home, at the moment. At least we know beforehand we are guaranteed to be booed because they want their home club to win.
“When you are playing at home and your own fans start booing after a few minutes, it is harder.”
A target for abuse, Adebayor was dropped from the starting lineup against Stoke.
“To tell you the truth, I think a lot of players, when they put on the shirt and go out on to the pitch, (they) are finding it hard in the head,” he said. “Obviously, I was on the bench against Stoke and, though I could not see everything, I could see that nobody wanted the ball. It’s hard for the players.”
Pochettino has struggled since he joined Tottenham in May and became the eighth permanent manager in chairman Daniel Levy’s 13 years at the club.
“He’s a good manager,” Adebayor said. “We just have to find a way to understand what he wants to tell us, and how he wants us to play, and put that on the pitch.
“At the moment, we are not getting the message.”
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