Tim Sherwood: New Aston Villa manager admits Premier League return was a 'no-brainer' and instructs side to 'play with less fear'

Sherwood's words at half-time inspired Aston Villa to a 2-1 FA Cup victory on Sunday but his his main target will be to keep them safe from relegation

Nick Mashiter
Monday 16 February 2015 15:11 GMT
Tim Sherwood is unveiled as the new Aston Villa manager
Tim Sherwood is unveiled as the new Aston Villa manager

New boss Tim Sherwood wants Aston Villa to lose the fear factor and called taking the job a "no-brainer".

The 46-year-old was unveiled at Villa Park on Monday after signing a deal until 2018 to replace the sacked Paul Lambert.

Sherwood watched Villa beat Leicester 2-1 in the FA Cup on Sunday and went into the dressing room at half-time to deliver a team-talk with the score 0-0.

And, with Villa in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League, Sherwood wants his side to play with freedom.

"To play with less fear," he said when asked what he said to the team at the break. "I thought it was a bit tentative. We had to get (Christian) Benteke more in the game. There's a little bit of apprehension around the place.

"They need to play with a bit more confidence then everything will be fine.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and a huge football club. When I got the call asking if I would be interested, it was a no-brainer. Yes. I'll take the job and then we'll negotiate later, see if they like what I'm about."

Sherwood faced the media on Monday morning

Sherwood, who will take charge for Saturday's visit of Stoke, is also looking to revitalise Benteke with the striker having scored just three goals this season.

"He probably needs a goal for his confidence," he said. "If he scores goals that will breed confidence and more will follow.

"It's not a one-man team. He needs to recapture the form that we all know because all the best clubs in the world were after him. He will need to be helped out by the rest of the squad. They need to step up to the plate."

Sherwood was in the stands at Villa Park on Sunday

The ex-Tottenham boss is yet to meet chairman Randy Lerner but did speak to the owner on the phone and insisted he is not looking beyond this season as Villa battle the drop.

"I spoke to him (Lerner) briefly but I spoke to (chief executive) Tom Fox at length about the vision of the club. I liked what I heard," he said.

"It's different this season to the long run because we're in a difficult situation right now. I need to get the best out of this group then we can look at it again."

Villa won just twice in their last 21 league games under Lambert, who was sacked on Wednesday following a 2-0 defeat to Hull.

Tim Sherwood is unveiled as the new Aston Villa manager

After his final game Lambert insisted Villa had "13 cup finals" left and Sherwood agreed as they battle the drop.

"Everyone in football is surprised but they're here for a reason," he said.

"I need to get everyone on the training pitch and then take them at face value.

"I see it as a giant football club, one that is a great honour.

"Paul's right, it will be 13 cup finals. It's going to be very important that we win games."

Villa are in the relegation zone on goal difference and they go to Newcastle after Sherwood's first game against Stoke before facing fellow strugglers West Brom and Sunderland.

They were founding members of the Premier League and Sherwood has targeted six wins to ensure they stay there.

Sherwood appeared to be in good spirits as he faced the media on Monday

He said: "It's all about winning, nothing else. You can't look any further than the end of the season, we need six wins so it (13 games) will be enough.

"We need to win and we need to get the players to play to their ability and if we can do that then we'll be very competitive in any game we play and that includes the one on Saturday."

Sherwood held talks with QPR about replacing Harry Redknapp earlier this month but admitted both parties decided against the move.

He said: "There was a chance. There was a good opportunity and we discussed it but we decided it wasn't going to be right in the end.

"Whenever you talk to a football club there are always different reasons and we felt it wasn't right for either party so we left it alone.

"On the back of getting this opportunity I am pleased, it's a good choice."


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