Manager Tim Sherwood has declared that Aston Villa will take all three points this weekend when we face Swansea City.
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Audio – Sherwood’s Pre Swansea Thoughts
In quotes carried by the South Wales Evening Post (of all places) following his pre game press conference,t he gaffer explained that he was 100% confident we would get back to winning ways on Saturday.
‘We will win.’
Declared the gaffer.
‘I’m here to do my job. My job doesn’t change just because of speculation whether it’s my last game or not. I need to win a football match which I’m aware of. I’ll be standing there taking full responsibility for the team’s performance and we will win tomorrow.’
With only one win to our name in the Premier League this year, and that one coming on the opening day against newly promoted Bournemouth, Villa have picked up just one additional point and that was from the two all draw with Sunderland, so we are due a slice of luck and maybe eleven of the right players finding the correct gear together again.
With plenty of pundits saying the silence from the board is ‘deafening’, Sherwood admitted he’s received no assurances during this period so far, but for him that wasn’t a problem and it was down to whether the board wanted to address the speculation or not – as far as he was concerned their silence just meant he carried on with the job.
Probably knowing full well that if anybody at the club had given words of support for him, the media would’ve faster than the Flash twisted it to be the dreaded vote of confidence, you can see why he couldn’t really care less.
‘I can’t control that. It’s their decision whether they want to come out and say that. You would have seen people get votes of confidence and it probably means not too much. If you win enough games it’s someone else’s turn to have the pressure.’
Sherwood also called on the fans to have Villa Park rocking for the game, to help the players over the line to the three points he’s predicted.
‘What I do know is that we have to collectively stick together tomorrow – players, staff, directors – and we all have to be together and get this Villa Park bouncing because this is a massive football match for us. We’re in the Premier League this season because of what the fans gave us in certain games last year and pulled us through. We’re going to need it bouncing tomorrow and we’re going to need their help. Certainly they’re going to want to come and be entertained and we must make sure we do that.’
Going back to his future and speculation, he also joked he’d be keeping an eye on the Director’s Box just in case.
‘You just get on with it. It’s purely speculation. I’ll be checking over my shoulder to see if anyone is positioning themselves in the directors box tomorrow. I’m easy with it. My job doesn’t change. You just deal with it because it’s part and parcel of the job. If you don’t win games and you come under pressure and someone else gets linked to your job. I’ve been linked with a lot of jobs myself, I can’t stop myself being linked and I can’t stop, while I’m sitting in the seat, other people being linked.’
With words about just surviving until we can strengthen further in January – many would argue just pick the in form eleven – Sherwood added that the impact Leicester have had should be an inspiration for us because they turned it around amazingly last season and that’s the kind of uplift he wants at B6 now he’s in charge.
‘Absolutely. We can take inspiration from teams like Leicester, who were certainly at the bottom of the Premier League for a lot of months last season. They put a run together which we’re capable of doing and they still carried that into next season. This group of players will improve in the Premier League next year because it’s been a hard experience at the moment and we can’t hide away from it. It’s been a tough period but we will get through it. It will be easier come the end of the season believe me. I can’t do more than what I’m doing to be perfectly honest. I’m working hard with the players to try to get the best out of them; trying to find the best formula. It will be successful in the end given time.’
Of course Leicester did put a run together last season, we limped over the line having just done enough ahead of the final few games and Southampton sticks large in the mind. We had no momentum coming into this year, we lost Benteke, and we are bedding in newbies.
Still, we should be doing better, there should be a pattern and there isn’t and that’s what concerns most.
Get the selection right, don’t carry out of form players and nobody is daft enough to think we’ll be top of the league, but it can’t be any worse can it?
The official site coverage has slightly different angles.
Brad Guzan gets a name check.
‘I don’t expect Brad to stand there and take punishment from the rest of the boys. He knows he’s made a mistake at Chelsea. But we’re in it together – we win and lose together. There are no superstars and no-one will be the villain. I am sure he has the confidence to put it right. I have confidence in Brad Guzan. We have good goalkeepers. Jed Steer is out on loan and Mark Bunn has done well. Goalkeepers can only play in one position. When I think it’s right to make that change, I will make it.’
Probably not the best idea to make the next section of the interview tagged as Sherwood being a ‘fan’ just like us, but hey ho.
‘I am proud to be Aston Villa manager. I am a fan of Aston Villa now – I am with the punters out there. I want us to win as much as they do. We are on the same side. I am with them. I feel for them. I understand their frustrations that we are not higher up in the league. But we will be. We will climb and be in the Premier League next season.’
As for the opposition more specifically and opposite number Garry Monk, Sherwood added.
‘They are tough. They have a good philosophy in terms of how they want to play. They seem to have stuck to that over the years. We need to make sure we don’t give them time to play. If you do, they will cause you problems. It was a tight game last season. They nicked it at the death. But I hope we can improve on last season’s performance. We have to make them play quickly and not let them compose themselves into a rhythm. If we manage that, we will have the ball more often than them and get them running towards their own goal.’
‘He couldn’t do any more last season, could he? He did fantastic. He’s a good young manager. I know him well. I have a lot of respect for him. He will be a good manager for a long period to come. He’s just hit a sticky spell like all managers do. It’s nothing to do with being inexperienced and young, which people always seem to point the finger to. He certainly wasn’t too young last season, was he! He’d done a great job.’
Jordan Ayew came in for praise, as did Tim Sherwood’s belief in Tim Sherwood.
‘He’s a boy who works very, very hard on the training field. And when he’s asked to play on the pitch, he leaves nothing there. Fans really appreciate that. He will be pushing for a start this weekend. I know what I’m doing is the right thing and it’s just a matter of time before the boys click. We are quite clearly – and obviously for everyone to see – a team in transition. We need to pick up points sooner rather than later so we can climb that league. It can turn very quickly. We can string a few results together and get ourselves in the pack. And then we look up rather than down. It’s about grinding out that result however it comes, taking that confidence from that and then bouncing into the next game. We’re just looking for that first win. We need to get some points.’
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