Premier League - Sherwood comes out fighting after job speculation

Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood came out fighting as his side ended a day full of speculation about his future with a 5-1 crushing of Sunderland in the Premier League.

Reuters
Premier League - Sherwood comes out fighting after job speculation
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Tottenham first team coach Tim Sherwood played down rumours of his exit from the club after they beat Sunderland 5-1

The build-up to Monday's Premier League clash was dominated by a report that claimed the Spurs head coach's tenure would end this summer, regardless of how results went between now and the end of the campaign.

Sherwood insisted before the match that the speculation would not affect him or his players and so it proved, with the hosts running out 5-1 victors at White Hart Lane.

Woeful defending saw Lee Cattermole open the scoring for the relegation-threatened Black Cats, but Spurs responded impressively through an Emmanuel Adebayor brace complemented by efforts from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

It was a good end to a tough day for under-fire Sherwood - not that the Spurs boss would admit it.

"No, it was a good end to a day where we needed to win the game," he said.

"We came here and we knew we had to respond to the game against Liverpool and we did that today.

"After giving them a goal - we're making a habit of this and we have to stop it - I thought we controlled the game from start to finish.

"We stayed patient with the football, moved it around, made the pitch very big and got our offensive players on the ball in the correct areas of the field.

"We created 29 attempts to score a goal - it was the most dominant football match you're ever going to see."

Pressed on whether the talk had been at all unsettling, Sherwood added: "It doesn't affect me.

"I am just professional, I know I have got an opportunity to manage this football club and I owe it to the players and the fans who come and support us to do the job professionally.

"That's what I did, just got on with the job."

The players did just that too, and Adebayor led the praise by saluting Sherwood after his goals and bringing a smile to the face of a manager who, as in his playing days, wears his heart very much on his sleeve. .

"I am not surprised he is backing me, he never played before I came in here," the Spurs boss said with a laugh.

"Listen, I've always said about Ade that he is a top professional. I hear all these stories and I see it myself, but he has never caused me a problem.

"He is a real credit to the football club, the way he conducts himself with the young players.

"That's why he scores so many goals. He is a fantastic trainer and just gets on with it. I would have been mad not to give him the opportunity to play, wouldn't I?

"I think the players are backing me and I am backing them as well. What they get from me is honesty. When they don't do it I tell them and when they do well I pat them on the back. That's healthy.

"I always wanted honesty from my managers and at some clubs I didn't get that, which was very disappointing. You live and learn."

A 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea last month led Sherwood to accuse some of his players of "lacking guts" while another heavy defeat at Liverpool in their previous game appeared to end any hopes of a top four challenge - undermining Sherwood's position at the same time.

After brushing aside a relegation-bound Sunderland side with a confident display, however, Tottenham returned to sixth place, five points behind north London rivals Arsenal in fourth and four behind in-form Everton, who Sherwood says are favourites to claim the final Champions League spot. While outsiders, Sherwood said there is still hope.

"We are just thinking about winning the next five games and hopefully someone else slips up but Everton have been magnificent, going about their business very quietly and building a team," he added.

While the direction of Tottenham remains unclear, the only way Sunderland are heading his down unless things change quickly.

Gus Poyet's side have taken just one point from their last seven matches and languish bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety.

They have two games in hand on many of their relegation rivals but manager Poyet concedes his side need a miracle to stave off the drop.

"I don't change my opinion," the Black Cats boss said. "I am very honest and I know where I am. It doesn't matter if it was five minutes ago or if you asked me on Friday.

"I am realistic, when you look at the table and the games that we have got left, about how many we need to win.

"I think we need a miracle. We need something unique, a shock because if not I cannot see it coming."

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