Football: Sherwood says Liverpool team to beat in race for fourth

Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood has insisted Liverpool remain favourites for a top four Premier League finish despite his side maintaining the pressure in the race for the final Champions League place.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in a 4-0 romp at Newcastle on Wednesday to keep Spurs clear in fifth -- three points behind Liverpool with 12 games left.

Tottenham have taken 19 points from the last possible 21 away from home to maintain their challenge.

Sherwood reckons things will go down to the wire in May, but played down the north London club's chances of overhauling the Merseysiders.

"You'd have to say that Liverpool are favourites. They're up there in fourth at present, but we think we can put a charge together," Sherwood said.

- 'Breathing down their neck' -

"We know how difficult it will be -- it's not just Liverpool who we are in there with, but other teams are in the race, too. We've got to keep on the tail of Liverpool, because they are relentless. I hope they keep on checking over their shoulders and see Spurs are still there," he added.

"It will be tough for a lot of teams at the top to maintain the kind of runs they've been on for the past few months. Liverpool are doing brilliantly, but we're breathing down their neck. All we can do is to apply ourselves correctly and see where it takes us. It's very tight, and I see it going down to the last month of the season."

After making it eight goals in 11 league games since being handed a chance by Sherwood to resurrect his career, former Arsenal forward Adebayor said: "The last time I was scoring like this was during my time at Arsenal. The manager has given me a chance to play football and has a big belief in me.

"I'm enjoying myself, and my aim is to keep enjoying my football and see what I can achieve."

Meanwhile a clearly angry Alan Pardew left his Newcastle players in little doubt as to his anger after his 150th game in charge of the Magpies fell flat, with Paulinho and Nacer Chadli adding to Adebayor's double.

Newcastle remain comfortably in mid-table, but have lost seven of their last nine games, and Magpies manager Pardew said: "Of course I'm not happy.

"That performance wasn't good enough, because we were dominated from start to finish. I made my views very clear in the dressing room and that's where they'll stay. I'm not going to say too much other than to give a message to our fans to say that wasn't good enough.

"This is a game where as a manager you expect life and limb on the football pitch. As a player, that's what I gave and that's what I expect my players to give, in every moment, in every game.

"I don't care what the scoreline is, I don't care what the scenario is, that's what I expect and that's what these fans expect. If you drop down from that, then you're going to suffer in a game like that."

Newcastle aren't in action again until the Premier League visit by Aston Villa on February 23, but Pardew was in no mood to give his players time off, insisting they would be in early for training the next day.

"I don't want to stand there on my 150th game and watch a performance like that. I don't care about how good Tottenham were. They don't interest me. They were good but my team has to be better than that."

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