Tottenham v Sunderland: Tim Sherwood returns to the dugout as he makes it clear Spurs know they need to up their form of late
Sherwood was criticised for watching the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the stands but he says that they will rebound when Sunderland visit White Hart Lane on Monday night
Sunday 06 April 2014
Tim Sherwood will return to the Tottenham dugout when Sunderland visit on Monday - a decision the head coach insists is nothing to do with the fans' irritation at him watching recent matches from the stands.
Following a touchline tete-a-tete with Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, the Spurs boss has preferred to watch matches from the stands, claiming it is for the good of the team.
However, a section of Tottenham fans audibly disagreed with that last weekend, chanting "where's our manager?" during the 4-0 trouncing at Liverpool.
Those supporters will no doubt be pleased to hear he will be back in the dugout on Monday, although he continues to defend his decision to watch from the directors' box.
"I'll be on the touchline on Monday - I'll be knocking out as many people as I can," Sherwood said with a smile.
"I've had a lot of time to prepare this week. If they don't know what it's all about this week, then they ain't going to know.
"When you're playing against Liverpool and teams like that, I feel there was a technical mismatch between the two teams.
"We have to try to worry about them and they might need some adjusting during the game - they certainly did after 20 minutes.
"There was nothing we could do to turn it around, unfortunately.
"I can learn more about my players sitting up top for the future than going down there to the touchline.
"I would've had to have no effect on that game. Against teams we've got left to play, the players know the script now.
"We will play the same way between now and the end of the season and it's up to them to try to entertain.
"I'll be there at the forefront with them and hopefully we can get a positive result together."
Monday certainly looks a decent opportunity for Tottenham to put a smile back on their fans' faces, although Sherwood is wary of the threat posed by Sunderland.
Managed by former Spurs team-mate Gus Poyet, the Black Cats are in relegation trouble and need positive results quickly.
"If their spirit can mirror their manager, then they will certainly be going until they have no breath left in them," Sherwood said.
"That gives them a real opportunity. They haven't been fantastic - their results have suggested that.
"But we really have to worry about ourselves. It is all about pride now and getting the maximum points possible between now and the end of the season.
"We've got to play with the shackles off. We are not coming up against a technical mismatch now, against teams in the top four.
"We're playing against teams who are in and around mid-table or below that, so we really have to play with a lot of freedom and try to entertain these great fans we have."
Sherwood will be able to call upon top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor against Sunderland after a spell on the sidelines, while Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho are also back in contention.
However, Kyle Walker, Etienne Capoue and Erik Lamela remain unavailable and are joined in the sidelines by Roberto Soldado and Jan Vertonghen after they were injured in the defeat at Anfield.
"I saw the players coming off but I have not had an update," Sherwood said of the latter duo. "They will not be available for this weekend.
"Adebayor has been training so he's up for selection. Chiriches has come through an under-21 game last week so he's got some minutes under his belt and he's up for selection.
"Paulinho will be back in the squad after missing out last week through conjunctivitis. It's not too bad."
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