English Premiership

Sherwood determined to keep Villa up

2015-02-16 15:12
Tim Sherwood (AFP)

Cape Town - Tim Sherwood inspired Aston Villa to a 2-1 FA Cup fifth round win over Leicester City on Saturday and appeared equally upbeat when he met the media on Monday - his first official day as the club's new manager.

Sherwood, watching Villa labour in a drab first half at Villa Park, went into the dressing room at the break and was punching the air in delight as Scott Sinclair's late strike put them 2-0 ahead after an improved second half performance.

Their run to the FA Cup quarter-finals has been Villa's one respite from a terrible league campaign which has seen them plummet after being second in mid-September.

Manager Paul Lambert paid the price for that slump when he was sacked on Wednesday with Villa 18th in the 20-team league, deep in relegation trouble with 13 matches to play.

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Sherwood told reporters: "I know how to win matches in this league. I know how to galvanise players and get the best out of them -- all I can do is prepare the team to the best of my ability.

"It's all about winning 13 cup finals now, and hopefully 14 if we do get to the Cup final itself."

Sherwood, 46, said the squad was good enough to survive and he hoped that Belgium striker Christian Benteke, who has scored just three goals all season, will start finding the net again.

"He just needs a goal to restore his confidence. But you've got to try to win football matches. We've got good players who can play off the cuff," he said.

"I remember playing against Christian Benteke as a manager and I know what a handful he can be. We need to get him back to that. There are a lot of big names in that squad and none of them want to get relegated.

"No-one at this football club does and it will hurt them to drop into the Championship. We have to make sure that does not happen."

Villa have scored 12 League goals all season and have lost their last five league matches. They have not won in the league since another 2-1 win over Leicester on Dec. 7 and Sherwood is only concentrating on survival.

"We are not in the position we are in for no reason.

"I believe in giving youth an opportunity but don't expect too many Under-18 players on Saturday -- that's a long-term plan. For the short term, its all about winning, nothing else."

Sherwood managed Spurs for the second half of last season and had been linked with the managerial posts at several clubs since leaving White Hart Lane in May.

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