LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Tim Sherwood's hopes of becoming Tottenham Hotspur's next permanent manager were boosted after his attacking team came back to win 3-2 at stuttering Southampton in an enthralling Premier League encounter on Sunday.
Forgotten man Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as caretaker boss Sherwood played the Togo striker up front with Roberto Soldado for the first time in a ploy which helped Spurs move above Manchester United into seventh spot.
Sherwood, who took over for two games at least when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked after last weekend's 5-0 home thumping by Liverpool, threw caution to the wind in his bid to get the job full-time by also not selecting a defensive midfielder.
It looked to have backfired when unmarked midfielder Adam Lallana grabbed the opener for Southampton on 13 minutes with a fine turn and shot from 20 metres.
Adebayor, who scored on his return to the team in the midweek League Cup loss to West Ham, then expertly volleyed in Soldado's superb cross for a 25th-minute equaliser on his first league start of the season.
Spurs, who have now come from behind to win their last three away games, came out flying in the second half and it was no surprise when Jos Hooiveld turned Danny Rose's low cross into his own goal on 54 minutes.
Southampton made it 2-2 when Rickie Lambert tapped in following more great work from England colleague Lallana but Adebayor sealed the win when he fired home after a ricochet on 64 minutes, with Soldado then missing three good chances.
Home boss Mauricio Pochettino has been touted in the media as a potential Spurs target given his largely English side's youthful brand of pressing football but they have now not won in six league games and sit ninth.
Swansea City host Everton later on Sunday (1600 GMT) with Arsenal welcoming Chelsea on Monday hoping to depose new leaders Liverpool, who beat Cardiff City 3-1 on Saturday. (Writing by Mark Meadows, Editing by Martyn Herman)