Soccer

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Allardyce gives backing to Sherwood

Published 02/05/2014 | 18:42

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Sam Allardyce has given Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood his backing

Sam Allardyce believes Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has shown he can handle the pressure of managing at the highest level.

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Sherwood takes his side to face Allardyce's West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday looking to avoid a third defeat of the season at the hands of the Hammers.

The 45-year-old replaced Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane in December but has constantly had his position undermined as other names are linked with the job.

Allardyce has also come under pressure recently as a number of West Ham fans have started calling for his head after a run of four straight defeats.

But the former Bolton and Blackburn boss knows that no-one can predict what will happen within the sport and feels Sherwood has done well during his short tenure.

"In our field you never know what's going to happen," he said.

"You're never comfortable, wherever you are, and in Tim's position I think he's proven that he can handle the job and he's proven that he's learned as he's gone on.

"You're bound to slip up when you're doing it for the first time, I still slip up after 20-odd years. We all make mistakes, but you learn from them and I think he's learned very quickly.

"I think Tottenham have done very, very well under him and what they decide at the end of the day is up to the owners and board at Tottenham."

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has found this week's speculation surrounding Frank de Boer a "strange situation" and warned anyone looking to shunt him out of the hotseat that they have a "tough act to follow".

Life at the White Hart Lane helm has rarely been straightforward for Sherwood and this week was no different, with comments from the Ajax boss fuelling speculation over his future.

De Boer said he was open to speaking with Tottenham about taking over as manager and the Barclays Premier League club felt the need to release a statement denying rumours they had contacted the Dutch giants about their manager.

Sherwood joked on Wednesday that "somewhere along the line someone is telling porkies" and admitted he was no closer to getting to the bottom of it two days on.

"No, I haven't - it was a strange situation, wasn't it?" he said ahead of Spurs' trip to West Ham.

"When a club's coming out and saying they've been spoken to, and the manager, and then the club that I'm associated with is denying it. That's where we are with it. No, I'm no further forward."

Sherwood has had to deal with such scrutiny and speculation since succeeding Andre Villas-Boas, during which time numerous managers have been linked to his job.

"What am I going to do? I'm not going to roll up and die, I'm just going to get on with my job, which is to try and prepare my team to win football matches and whatever will be will be," he said.

"I've just got to carry on with my business, show my personal pride and professionalism and make sure that those lads are prepared to win for the team and for the fans and for this great club.

"It's not only me, I've got two coaches with me, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, who have given a lot of time to this club over the years. I think possibly 30 years between us.

"It's a lot of time, a lot of effort and the club's been good to us in that time as well. What will happen at the end of the season, who knows?

"But one thing we can assure the club is that we've always been honest with them and we'll always give 100 per cent maximum to achieve what we need to achieve, whether that's in the development phase or now within the first team."

Sherwood will sit down with chairman Daniel Levy at the end of the campaign to discuss his future, although it appears a matter of when, not if, the 18-month deal he signed in December is ripped up.

The statistics certainly show that, with Sherwood boasting a better win percentage than any other Spurs boss in the Premier League era.

He was the only top-flight manager to go through April unbeaten and is looking to continue that fine form at West Ham on Saturday, when Spurs will be without two England internationals.

On Thursday Andros Townsend underwent surgery on an ankle injury sustained at Stoke last weekend, which has ruled the winger out for the rest of the campaign and the World Cup.

There are fears right-back Kyle Walker could also miss out on the squad for Brazil, with England manager Roy Hodgson concerned over the progress he is making on a pelvic injury.

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