Sherwood brushes off speculation
6:56am Tuesday 8th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Tim Sherwood preferred to focus on the performance of his players rather than the mounting speculation about his Tottenham future after the comprehensive defeat of Sunderland.
The build-up to Monday's Barclays 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, with Adebayor lending his backing to Sherwood after netting a brace.
"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. They get from me honesty - I tell them when they're not doing well and pat them on the back when they are doing well.
"I always wanted honesty from my managers and at some clubs I didn't get that, which was very disappointing. You live and learn."
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."