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Thursday 27 October 2016

Sherwood: No letting up

Published 09/05/2015 | 21:21

Aston Villa took another step towards safety with victory
Aston Villa took another step towards safety with victory

Boss Tim Sherwood warned Aston Villa their fight for survival is not over despite a crucial win over West Ham.

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Tom Cleverley's third goal in three games handed Villa a 1-0 victory to put them on the brink of Barclays Premier League safety.

They are 14th in the table, four points above the bottom three with just two games left, after Hull's defeat to Burnley.

Villa go to Southampton next week before a home finale against the Clarets, who were relegated despite their 1-0 win at the KC Stadium - but Sherwood is not taking safety for granted.

He said: "Everyone is getting unlikely results. It's in our hands but you will see a few more twists and turns.

"I talked to them about complacency today but I didn't see it, I saw a very open, attacking performance and then I saw a really professional one in the second period.

"They are marrying it all together and there seems to be a real maturity growing. I'm pleased for them."

Cleverley has excelled under Sherwood and the manager reiterated his desire to sign him when his loan from Manchester United expires at the end of the season.

The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and Sherwood believes his target could also earn an England recall on current form. He said: "We'll talk to him. I'm just going to tell him if he doesn't sign he's not playing in the Cup final (against Arsenal on May 30).

"He is easy to coach, you only have to tell him once and he gets it. I'm pretty sure he'll get back into the England squad soon.

"He still shows a lot of energy and determination for this club, he's on loan but he treats it as his own.

"He has enjoyed his time here. It'll come down to money but it'll also come down to where he thinks he can play his best football. Not all players are mercenaries."

Defeat condemned the Hammers to an 11th away game without a win as they struggled to create chances.

Enner Valencia had a header ruled out for offside in the second half - a decision which angered boss Sam Allardyce - but the manager admitted they are struggling for goals.

He said: "For a number of weeks now we have tried and tried and tried to find the goals you need and we can't find them. Simple as that.

"Whatever we do, whatever chances we create, none of our players seem to convert them into goals. Because of that life is extremely difficult.

"Our last two goals were an Aaron Cresswell free-kick and a Mark Noble penalty. We failed in front of goal and because of that we end up losing the game 1-0.

"In saying all that, I think Enner Valencia's header is a goal. The assistant referee is in no position to give a decision one way or the other. He is four yards in the wrong position so he guesses. I find that rather difficult to take."

But Allardyce praised his makeshift defence for keeping the Hammers in touching distance, adding: "I did think we were pathetic with the way we let the goal in, but considering we have James Tomkins and Winston Reid out Ginge (James Collins) and Reece Burke have done a fantastic job."

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