English Premiership

No hard feelings for Sherwood

2015-04-10 12:26
Tim Sherwood (AFP)

London - Tim Sherwood has insisted there is no bad blood between himself and Tottenham Hotspur despite being sacked as head coach at White Hart Lane last year, saying he wouldn't have become Aston Villa manager without his time at the north London club.

Sherwood returns to White Hart Lane on Saturday for the first time since Spurs chairman Daniel Levy opted to terminate his contract, with Villa a precarious three points above the Premier League's relegation zone.

But the former Blackburn and Tottenham midfielder believes he would never have got his chance at Villa Park had he not taken charge at Spurs following the sacking last season of former manager Andre Villas-Boas.

"It's a good club, they've been very good to me Tottenham over the years," said Sherwood, who was previously technical director and assistant first-team coach at White Hart Lane.

"I wouldn't be sitting here as Aston Villa manager if it wasn't for Tottenham Hotspur.

"I was relieved of my duties and walked out with my head held very high. I was pleased with what I did, but I respect the decision made by Daniel Levy and his board, they've been good for me.

"I've been in communication with Daniel Levy since I've left, I haven't got a problem.

"They only made that decision based on what they believe is best for the football club.

"They have to make that decision. I haven't got to agree with it. I just move on."

Pochettino credit

Sherwood played a significant role in the development of striker Harry Kane, the joint top-scorer in this season's Premier League so far with 19 goals, and midfielder Ryan Mason and has praised current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino for continuing the work he started.

"I do look back with pride," said Sherwood. "Especially if you're talking about the young players who have emerged to be regulars in the first team.

"There are probably three or four who are first names on that team sheet, that gives me immense pride.

"You have to give a lot of credit to Pochettino for sticking with those boys also," he added of the former Southampton manager.

"A lot of managers would have gone 'no thank you, give me some of those players who end in an I or an O from foreign countries', who might not be as good as these young players.

"But he hasn't, he's stuck to plan, and I've got to give him a lot of credit for that," added Sherwood.

Tottenham will kick off in sixth place, the position Sherwood left them in at the end of last season before he was sacked.

Spurs are in a three-way fight with Liverpool and Southampton for a Europa League place but once again Champions League football appears to have eluded them.

Head coach Pochettino is set to give his squad a wholesale revamp after the end of this season so Sherwood's White Hart Lane return will double as an opportunity to convince the former Argentina defender that they should be allowed to stay.

Some players appear to be so far out of favour that any offer would be considered, with forward Roberto Soldado and midfielder Paulinho top of that list.

Emmanuel Adabayor and Younes Kaboul -- the latter appointed club captain at the start of the season - are also surplus to requirements and time is running out for fringe men Erik Lamela, Vlad Chiriches, Federico Fazio, Benjamin Stambouli and Etienne Capoue to impress.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris appears to be losing his battle to recover from a knee injury in time so Michel Vorm, who kept a clean sheet in Sunday's goalless draw at Burnley, will continue between the posts.

Right-back Kyle Walker suffered a foot injury in that game and is unlikely to feature against Villa either.

Villa still have doubts over Alan Hutton (foot), Ashley Westwood and Scott Sinclair (both hamstring) while Aly Cissokho (groin) and Carles Gil (dead leg) are also injury concerns.

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