English Premiership

Sherwood ready to swing axe

2014-01-18 14:41
Tim Sherwood (AFP)

London - Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has said he will have no qualms about selling players during the transfer window as he targets the goal of a top four finish in the Premier League.

The north London club are currently two points adrift of the Champions League places ahead of their trip to struggling Swansea this weekend.

An improved run of four wins and a draw in the last five Premier League matches has raised hopes Sherwood has got Spurs' season back on track after he was promoted from within following the decision to sack former manager Andre Villas-Boas last month.

The change in the dug-out has led to a change in personnel on the pitch and a number of sidelined players including Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Lewis Holtby have been linked with moves away from the club.

And Sherwood accepted there could be departures before the end of the January transfer window.

"As long as they're the players I don't want to take us forward, then I'm happy (to sell them)," he said.

"We've had discussions, but it's sometimes a case of supply and demand. We've got fantastic players here at the club and if we were to lose no one I wouldn't be shedding any tears.

"But you can only go with a certain amount of players and the pressure's on because it's a World Cup year for a lot of these players. It's important they're playing."

Swansea's recent run of form - they are without a win in seven league games - means Tottenham are expected to return from south Wales with three points on Sunday.

"Our hopes for the season are still alive because we're getting points and we are closer to the top four, so we are still in a good way," said Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

"It's always difficult to play against Swansea and we know they're capable of getting some good results against big teams.

"They play some really good football and if we are not focused on the game and if we don't play at 100 percent, it will be very difficult."

Gylfi Sigurdsson could return to face his former club but centre-back duo Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul are still short of match fitness.

Swansea's plight - they were just three points above the relegation zone before this weekend's fixtures - has given growing cause for concern and manager Michael Laudrup said the next seven games would be crucial in determining the course of their season.

"It is so tight from our point of view and it depends on what we do in the next seven league games," Denmark great Laudrup said.

"In the next month-and-a-half, from the game on Sunday until the Crystal Palace game in March, we have four games at home and lots of games against opponents who are also in the bottom half of the table.

"This next month-and-a half is crucial to the rest of the season. If we come out of it well, things will be looking very good, if not we will have to admit we will be in a relegation battle for the rest of the season."

Laudrup's efforts to strengthen his squad have been hampered by confusion over whether the club could recall Ki Sung-yeung from the South Korean midfielder's loan spell at relegation-threatened Sunderland.

The manager has found his squad stretched in midfield following injuries to Jose Canas and Jonathan De Guzman.

"I looked into the possibility of bringing Ki back, but the loan agreement said it should have been done by the end of December, so it's not a possibility," Laudrup explained.

"The only way we can change that is if Ki and both clubs all agree to end the loan, but of course Sunderland are not going to do that."

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19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
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