• Premier League

Family and friends believed I hit a player - Sherwood

ESPN staff
April 7, 2014
Tim Sherwood has been questioned by the media and fans for calling players out in public this season © PA Photos

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood admitted that some of his own family and friends believed false rumours suggesting he was involved in a dressing room brawl with one of his players after their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool.

Social media platforms were swirling with gossip that the Spurs head coach was involved in an altercation during the lengthy dressing down that followed his team's disappointing defeat at Anfield.

Spurs winger Aaron Lennon was among those who felt it necessary to dismiss the claims, yet Sherwood's feisty reputation is such taht some of his closest colleagues and relatives to question accepted he had been in a bust-up.

"I was getting family and friends texting me saying: 'Why did you do it?'," Sherwood said with a smile. "They didn't say: 'Did you?' It was all 'Who did you hit, who did you hit?'

"The players know I want the best for the club and that helps them out because it means I want the best for them. I am not going to suffer fools though. That is the way I manage."

Sherwood said he has no regrets about going public in his criticism of his players in recent weeks but feels perceptions of him and his methods are unfair.

Comparisons with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may seem fanciful to Sherwood's critics, but he craves the same reception afforded the Portuguese.

"I didn't have any hidden agenda regarding [the criticism]," Sherwood said. "I just felt they needed to be accountable. If Mourinho does it now, it's right. If I do it, it's wrong because I'm inexperienced and Mourinho's the best manager we've ever seen, supposedly."

Mourinho was critical of his players after s recent defeats against Crystal Palace and Paris Saint-Germain but Sherwood conceded even the Special One has to take stick sometimes.

"Whatever decisions you make in this game only stand up if you win," Sherwood said. "If Mourinho doesn't go on to win anything at Chelsea then he's going to be wrong for saying what he said.

"It's just one stage at a time and I've got six cup finals between now and the end of the season. It's really important to me that we show the fans something to make them optimistic about next season."

Sherwood demanded a response from his players as they return to action for the first time since their Anfield defeat in a home game against Sunderland on Monday night.

"I am realistic to know it's Tottenham, you are under the spotlight no matter what you do," he said. "You've got a rookie manager coming in here, who won the first eight games or whatever it was and everyone thinks it's easy.

"I was realistic, I knew there was going to be some downs. It was a case of just cracking on, but whatever decisions I make are my decisions. If I'm going to go down, I'll go down my way."

Sherwood went on to address his decision to watch the Liverpool game from the stands, a move that inspired some Spurs supporters to chant 'where is our manager?', as he was not seen on the touchline at Anfield.

"You are damned if you do and damned if you don't [stand on the touchline]," he said. "If [Chelsea boss Jose] Mourinho sits up there [in the stands] he's fine. Nigel Pearson at Leicester has sat up there all season and they've been promoted to the Premier League."

And he joked: "I'll be on the touchline on Monday and I'll be knocking out as many people as I can. I've had a lot of time to prepare this week."

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