Sherwood backs Soldado to find form
Published 24/02/2014 | 15:37
Misfiring striker Roberto Soldado is one lucky finish away from a glut of goals to revitalise Tottenham's Champions League qualification bid, according to Tim Sherwood.
Tottenham boss Sherwood has backed Soldado to end his agonising quest for goals after the Spain striker missed two more golden chances in Sunday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Norwich.
The £26million summer recruit from Valencia shanked a sitter in last week's 1-0 Europa League loss in Dnipro, before twice failing to find a finish in a second-half cameo at Carrow Road.
Spurs manager Sherwood defended 28-year-old Soldado's bid to improve on his tally of one goal in his last 11 games and break his 2014 duck.
"We're waiting for him to take one and then hopefully the confidence will start flooding back for him," said Sherwood.
"He's getting the opportunities to score but he just needs to take one.
"He's fine, he trains well and he's a good lad who works hard.
"Yes, he puts them away in training, but as I say it's all about scoring on the big stage and we know he can do it, we've seen him do it over the years so hopefully he'll finish one soon.
"Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later that he puts one in the net.
"He just needs to take one. It happens, strikers have a lull at times and Robbie needs to get out of this one.
"It's going to take probably one off his backside for it to happen.
"Unfortunately he's had another couple of chances missed, but not only him there were a few other glaring misses I thought."
Tottenham entertain Dnipro in the return leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday night, before welcoming Cardiff to White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Sunday.
Sherwood said there is precious little time to dwell on the missed opportunities at Norwich.
Liverpool's breathless 4-3 victory over Swansea at Anfield on Sunday leaves Tottenham six points shy of the Reds, who now boast a commanding hold over the Premier League's pivotal fourth place, the final Champions League qualification berth.
The Spurs boss refused to let his side's hectic fixture schedule account for the clear sluggishness at Norwich, demanding improvements for their two home games in four days.
"The challenge is how the players respond now," said Sherwood.
"It's the first major setback I've had as manager and we have to refocus immediately.
"The result was very disappointing but now we need plenty of character from our players so that we can bounce straight back.
"There's no excuse from having played on Thursday, because we made plenty of changes."
Jan Vertonghen has admitted he would review his White Hart Lane future should Tottenham not make next season's Champions League.
The Belgium centre back joined Spurs in 2012 in a £9.6million deal, and has his heart set on top-level European club football next season.
"Those are always difficult questions," Vertonghen told the Evening Standard, when asked about his Tottenham future.
"What I want is to be playing in the Champions League with Tottenham, so I hope we get in this year.
"Do I have a decision to make if we don't? I can't say anything about that. Let's see after the end of the season, after the World Cup."