Saturday 21 October 2017

Stoke loss a low point for Sherwood

Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf, centre bottom, celebrates his equaliser at Aston Villa with Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters, left, in their 2-1 win on Saturday
Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf, centre bottom, celebrates his equaliser at Aston Villa with Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters, left, in their 2-1 win on Saturday

Tim Sherwood has admitted that losing his first game as Aston Villa boss is one of the lowest points of his career.

Stoke snatched a late 2-1 win at Villa Park on Saturday thanks to Victor Moses' injury-time penalty.

Ron Vlaar was also sent off for bringing the forward down to compound Villa's woes.

They slipped to second bottom thanks to Burnley's surprise point at Chelsea but only remain in the Barclays Premier League drop zone on goal difference.

Sherwood has vowed to keep them up but revealed his disappointment following the defeat.

"Yeah, I'm low," he said when asked if it was one of his lowest moments.

"I didn't think either team deserved to win. You look at the scoreboard and, though you set out wanting to win the game, you think 'I'll take that'. You come away with a point, something to build on, and then go away to Newcastle and go again and improve.

"We need to improve, we know we need to improve and we need to start improving very quickly."

It was Villa's sixth straight league defeat and they are winless in their last 11 games despite Scott Sinclair's opener.

It was the Manchester City loanee's second goal in two games and he insisted the squad are not looking at their perilous position.

"It's very difficult, I don't know how many points we are off but the thing is we need to get that first win," Sinclair said.

"We have lost six (in a row) but we can't keep worrying about stats and what happened last week. We need to kick on, get the next win and hopefully the confidence in the team will get a lift. We have the characters in the squad to push on."

Mame Biram Diouf's equaliser just before half time allowed Stoke back into the the game and boss Mark Hughes believes the ex-Manchester United striker gives them an edge.

"He gives us that threat. His energy and his work rate is without exception," he said.

"I made a little bit of a change late on, I thought he was creating a lot of chances for himself but not giving us that final product.

"So I moved Jon (Walters) out to the right hand side and Mame through the middle and that allowed him to threaten.

"He was a threat all day long and I think that is the difference for us this year compared to last one when we didn't have that threat in behind."

And, despite condemning them to defeat, Hughes backed Sherwood to keep Villa in the Premier League

"It is not easy. I think they have made a good appointment in Tim. He is a positive guy and that's what they need," he said.

"He has only just come through the door so he is not going to have a massive impact immediately.

"You look at their squad and they have talent. I believe they will be fine."

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