Hughton: Time will tell with Tim
Published 22/02/2014 | 19:12
Norwich boss Chris Hughton feels only time will tell whether Tim Sherwood has what it takes to successfully make the step up from Tottenham coach to the manager's hotseat.
Hughton worked with Sherwood when they were at White Hart Lane and the pair are now set to go head to head in opposite dugouts for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Carrow Road.
Sherwood - who also spent time at Norwich as a player before moving on to Blackburn, where he won the title in 1995 and then signing for Spurs - was handed an 18-month contract after replacing Andre Villas-Boas in December.
At 44, Sherwood is one of the youngest managers in the Premier League, taking over a leading club in his first senior appointment, but he has enjoyed a decent start in the post.
However, while things are looking promising now, it is impossible to know what the future holds for Sherwood, with Hughton saying: "Tim has gone in and taken over a top quality team and time will tell with Tim.
"He was there (at Spurs) as a player when I was a coach and he has certainly started well with a talented squad."
Hughton was on Spurs' backroom staff from 1993 to 2007 after retiring, and took his own first steps into management at Newcastle, where he was controversially sacked in December 2010 despite having taken the Magpies back to the top flight.
The 55-year-old - whose position at Norwich has come under scrutiny following a poor run of results - accepts everyone must find their own way in what is one of the most precarious sporting professions.
"My apprenticeship was a far longer period. I spent something like 14 years as a coach before going to Newcastle and then into management.
"That allowed me to gain the experience on different aspects of coaching and seeing how other managers worked and their methods and that helped me immensely when I took the first step into management.
"I think there are some who are capable of making that step earlier, but for me, the longer period of time suited me.
"You do have to pull yourself away as a manager at times and maybe not get as close to the players as you can do as a coach.
"You have to make those tough decisions at the end of the week when it comes to games or a player's future."
Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson could return from two months spent on the sidelines with a back injury but neither on-loan winger Jonas Gutierrez (calf) nor defender Ryan Bennett (thigh) are match fit.
Sherwood is expecting a tight affair when he takes his Tottenham side to Norwich as the Canaries look to pick up valuable points in their fight to avoid Premier League relegation.
Spurs go into the game at Carrow Road on the back of a disappointing defeat in their 1-0 Europa League round-of-32 first leg against Dnipro but with a fantastic win away at Newcastle also still fresh in their minds.
A 4-0 success at St James' Park keeps Sherwood's side firmly in the hunt for a fourth-place finish but Sherwood feels Spurs will come up against a different proposition in Norfolk.
"Everyone chooses a different way to play," he said.
"Norwich are desperate for points. They might not come out and be expansive against us but we have to approach every game differently.
"Newcastle in our last away performance was a bit different. Newcastle came out with their expectant crowd up there and tried to play against us. We might come up against a different type but we are not sure yet, we will have to wait and see."
While Tottenham are only three points behind Liverpool in the final Champions League position, Norwich are clear of the bottom three by just a single point with manager Chris Hughton's job under threat.
But Sherwood is wary of the Canaries' ability to shock some of the league's biggest sides in front of their home fans.
"They have taken some big scalps at Carrow Road and done very well," he added.
"I think it is important we respect what they have got.
"We are expecting a tough game. They have made some signings and have got some good players. Hopefully we can second guess their team and get ourselves prepared."
Sherwood is likely to welcome back a number of first-team regulars on Sunday.
With several players suffering from niggling injuries many did not travel for the Europa League defeat to Dnipro.