Tim Sherwood is targeting an immediate response from Tottenham’s squad as he takes charge of the team for the first time in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup quarterfinal against West Ham.
Andre Villas-Boas was dismissed on the back of a disastrous 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool at the weekend and Sherwood has been handed the task of picking up the pieces as he steps in from his role of head of football development on an interim basis. Back in front of the White Hart Lane crowd against a side that beat Spurs 3-0 in October, the former midfielder is under no illusions about what he has been thrown into or what is required.
“It’s a huge game, especially on the back of what they did to us at the Lane a month or so ago,” he said, according to Tottenham’s official website. “That was disappointing. We have to get out there on the front foot and impose ourselves as soon as we can.”
“We’ll have to be patient,” he added. “They got bodies behind the ball that day and tried to catch us on the counter-attack. We just hope we can impose ourselves on them nice and early, get the crowd behind us and really be up and at them.”
Sherwood, who will be assisted by coaches Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, may also have some self-serving motivations for wanting Tottenham to progress to the League Cup semifinals. The 44-year-old is now the favorite with several bookmakers to be handed the role of head coach on a permanent basis. With the unexpected timing of Villas-Boas’s dismissal and the lack of standout candidates, if Sherwood can show signs of getting the best out of the big-money summer arrivals then he will surely be strongly considered.
Aiming to spoil Sherwood’s first audition will be a West Ham side for which the win at White Hart Lane represents the one bright spot in an otherwise struggling start to the season. Currently just a point and a place above the relegation zone after winning just once in the league since beating Tottenham, there is growing pressure on manager Sam Allardyce to arrest the slide. But, despite Villas-Boas’ sacking, he claims not to be preoccupied by fears of his own job.
“No, I don't fear for my job,” he said, reports West Ham’s official website. “When you're a senior manager in the years that I've been managing now, then that becomes one of those things that you face on some occasions of your career. There's always going to be a time when there's a difficult period and my responsibility is to manage the players through that.”
West Ham have overcome Cheltenham Town, Cardiff City and Burnley to reach the last eight, but Allardyce is not expecting Villas-Boas’ sacking to make their task of going further any easier.
“Whatever the situation is at Spurs from our point of view you look at the squad of players they've got and they have an excellent squad,” he explained. “They had a very, very poor result against Liverpool and that ultimately resulted in them removing Andre Villas-Boas which was a surprise to me. From our point of view it's about the same players that we all know about. We all know the quality of the team and the quality of their squad.”
Allardyce will still be unable to call upon much-missed striker Andy Carroll, while Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mladen Petric and Winston Reid are also ruled out. James Tomkins faces a late fitness test.
The fallout from Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool also includes suspensions for Paulinho and Michael Dawson, while Sandro has a calf injury.
Where to watch: The League Cup quarterfinal will kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET. A live stream will be available on beIN Sport Play, while a delayed screening will be available on beIN Sport from 4.45 p.m.