- Premier League
Sherwood: Talk of City loss 'might scare' Spurs players
Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood will avoid reference to his side's 6-0 defeat against Manchester City last November ahead of their re-match with Manuel Pellegrini's side on Wednesday, after suggesting his players may be 'scared' if their Etihad Stadium demise is mentioned.
Sherwood has watched a re-run of the game which started the process that ended with Andre Villas-Boas's sacking as Spurs boss last month, but he will resist the temptation to use their crushing loss as a motivation tool prior to the White Hart Lane clash against the same opponents.
"It will be on their minds, they have got professional pride, but I won't talk about it," stated Sherwood when asked about the 6-0 result.
"It might scare them [if we bring it up]. They need to use that [as motivation] for themselves. I watched that game recently, just to see some of the strengths and weaknesses. Early in the game, there were some weaknesses from us, but they got the early freak goal and we didn't stem the flow. We cannot afford a capitulation like it was at the Etihad.
"I always feel games boil down to individual errors, decision making. It's all about winning our personal battles out there. If we win more personal battles than them, then you generally win the game."
Sherwood admitted the clash with Pellegrini's title favourites could be a defining moment in his side's season, as they look to record a victory against one of the top sides in the Premier League after defeats against Arsenal, Liverpool and City.
"Anyone who finishes above Manchester City this season will win the league so this is huge for us," he continued. "If we walk away with three points, the belief will rise and it will prove we can compete.
"It's one thing saying we can compete, but another going out there and do it. I trust those boys to give us a positive performance and result, so let's prove we can do it and not just talk about it."
Sherwood went on to praise the performances of revitalised striker Emmanuel Adebayor, but insisted his motivation level will not rise simply because he is playing against former club City.
"He will be up for this game as he has been up for every game," he added. "There is no small of big games for Ade at the moment, he is up for every match. He is one of the top strikers in the Premier League in my opinion and it's important that we keep giving him the service. He relies on the other players as well and we rely on him.
"He'll be crucial to us to get where we want to be. I don't think he is a natural goal scorer, but in all round play, he can be unplayable. On his day he can be formidable and long may that continue because at the moment, he is proving to be very hard to mark."
Winger Andros Townsend will miss the City game as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury and Erik Lamela is also out with an injury, but every other member of Sherwood's squad is fit and available.