• '2013 was worst year of my life,' striker says
• Adebayor says André Villas-Boas is a 'great man'
Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor has said he is relieved to be playing again having endured the most difficult year of his life in 2013. The striker has returned to favour at White Hart Lane under the new manager, Tim Sherwood, after being forced to train with the club's reserves under André Villas-Boas, but admits the death of his brother, Peter, last summer was the lowest moment of his life.
Adebayor was granted compassionate leave during the club's pre-season tour of Asia to attend his brother's funeral, only for Villas-Boas to have signed Roberto Soldado by the time he returned. Subsequently Adebayor ended up training with the club's youth players and did not make his first appearance of the season until the 6-0 defeat away to Manchester City – coming on as a second-half substitute for Lewis Holtby.
However, since Villas-Boas's sacking last month Adebayor has enjoyed a prolonged spell in the first team, scoring four times in his last seven appearances.
"I am quite happy and hopefully that'll keep going for me and the team," he told Sky Sports before Sunday's trip to Swansea City. "I have been through a lot. I can honestly say that 2013 was the worst time of my life, with my brother passing away. It was very difficult, especially losing someone you love. I just went to the funeral and focused on my job and today I have a chance to play and today I'm very happy being back on the football pitch for the last two months or so and I think I'm doing quite well.
"It was the worst part of my life and in my career. I can just feel it, 2014 is going to be better and at the moment everything is looking good."
Although Adebayor was frozen out by Villas-Boas, the 29-year-old insists he holds no grudge and hopes the former Chelsea manager excels this year "from the bottom of my heart".
"I'm not here to judge anyone, he's a great manager – I wish him the best of luck and as human beings we all commit mistakes, I have learnt from my mistake and I hope he learns from his mistake as well. I wish for him to be the best manager in 2014, from the bottom of my heart.
"Maybe he thought I was no good any more, maybe he thought I looked sluggish in training, a bit tired – you cannot judge him, he tried his best for his team. There is no way for one minute I think he does anything for the club to lose a game. I cannot say he has done anything for us to lose 6-0 to Man City. So for me I think he has tried his best. If it doesn't work his way, that's football. So hopefully the next one for him will be a good one. I wish him the best of luck because he's a great man."
And while he is thankful to Sherwood for re-instilling his confidence, Adebayor believes there is still more to come. He has also refused to rule out Tottenham making a charge for the Premier League title despite Manchester City's impressive home form.
"I feel I can still be a little bit better. That's what I'm working on every day – you can never be perfect. I just keep working every day and enjoy the moment and see what my career will bring. But I want to win a lot of stuff. I know it's going to be very difficult . Are we going to win the Europa League? I don't know but we'll go for it. The Premier League is going to be very tough, looking at the way Man City are playing, scoring six every game, but we still have a chance, we have to keep going. In a couple of months let's take maximum points and see what happens."