Football - Sherwood would give youth a chance

Interim manager Tim Sherwood will make it his personal aim to blood more of Tottenham's youngsters in the first team if he is appointed on a permanent basis.

The 44-year-old has been placed in temporary charge of Spurs following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas on Monday, less than 24 hours after Liverpool romped to a 5-0 victory in north London.

His first game in charge saw Spurs lose 2-1 at home to rivals West Ham in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday evening.

His next test will come away at Southampton as he looks to improve Tottenham's standing in the Barclays Premier League, with the pre-season top-four contenders currently sitting seventh.

A positive result at St Mary's would certainly strengthen Sherwood's application to succeed Villas-Boas and, if the former Blackburn skipper is successful, he intends to tap into his knowledge of the youth players at the club following his developmental role with Spurs.

With seven big-money summer signings meaning even fewer opportunities for young players to break through, Sherwood would be keen to alter that trend.

"If something happened on a longer term with me it would be addressed," he said.

"The last thing we would want to do is stunt their growth because there are some top young players down there ready to step up.

"You want to keep them [young players] at your club, you have worked hard since they were eight years of age and you were bringing them through, but they can't all stay.

"Sometimes the manager and the board have to make a decision to bring in what they perceive is extra quality and if you make that decision you have to live and die by it."

Southampton have enjoyed a good start to the season and sit just three points behind Spurs in the table, with their manager Mauricio Pochettino finding himself linked to the vacancy at White Hart Lane.

But the Argentinian has seemingly ruled himself out of the running before entertaining Sherwood's side on Sunday, with the former England international aware of the threat Pochettino's side will pose.

"Nigel Adkins was doing a good job before him and it was a surprise to everyone that he left the club, but that shows you the nature of football," he added.

"Pochettino has gone in and it seems like he has taken them on, but it is still early days for him. It will be a very tough game for us down there.

"We know what to expect from Southampton, he has got his team playing a very high, pressed game with a quick tempo and lots of young, English players down there."

Defender Kyle Walker echoed Sherwood's comments, but believes a positive result on the south coast could set Spurs up for a bumper points haul over the busy festive period.

"Southampton have a lot of quality players and a few have been called into the England squad," he told the club's official website.

"It will be tough but if we play like we did in the first hour against West Ham, with the same enthusiasm and desire, getting the ball in the box and getting shots off, why can't we go there and win?

"I remember last year we went on a good run at Christmas, so why not do the same this Christmas?"

Sherwood will be buoyed by the return from suspension of skipper Michael Dawson, but is still without fellow defenders Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul as well as Paulinho, while winger Andros Townsend is also missing through injury.