Tim Sherwood still searching for winning Aston Villa formula
Published 03/10/2015 | 18:31
Boss Tim Sherwood admitted he is still searching for his best team and the clock is ticking on his Aston Villa misfits.
Marko Arnautovic's second-half goal earned Stoke their first away win in the Barclays Premier League since they beat Villa in February.
It left the hosts searching for their first league win since the opening day of the season and they have earned just one point in their last seven games following Saturday's 1-0 defeat.
Sherwood signed 13 new players in the summer and started seven of them against Stoke but conceded he is yet to strike on the winning formula.
He said: "Absolutely, the team selection shows that every week. I'm trying to find a right way. You can't persevere with a team who haven't won. You have to keep jigging it around to find a solution and at the moment I haven't done that.
"I am the manager and I have to take responsibility for the performance and the result. That's my job and I understand that fully.
"I'm still learning about the guys, we are eight games in and it's disappointing but I would rather be in the bottom three after eight games than in the bottom three with eight games to go.
"They will take time to adapt and I wouldn't say time is running out but the clock is certainly ticking."
Villa are third bottom of the league, now four points adrift of the safety line, and rarely tested Stoke but Sherwood felt they deserved a point.
He said: "It was a poor performance and poor result, a fair result would have been a draw. Unfortunately we have got nothing out of the game. We will go back to work and do our best to put things right."
Stoke have now won three straight games in the league and cup after Arnautovic knocked in his second goal of the season off the post 10 minutes after half-time.
The midfielder also had a goal disallowed for offside before the break while Charlie Adam saw his 60-yard shot tipped wide by Brad Guzan as Stoke easily held off any muted attack Villa mustered.
Boss Mark Hughes said: "Thankfully Marko is getting into those positions. For a long time we've pulled his leg that he seems more happy assisting and putting balls on a plate for other guys to score. Now he looks like he's got a little bit of hunger to score himself.
"It's a great thing because it's something he needs to add to his game and if he can get that he is going to be a real influential player. It's been said he only comes alive in the second half of the season which is a little unfair on him. He has started this season really strongly."
But Mame Diouf did suffer a hip injury late in the game and Hughes admitted he will be a doubt for Senegal duty during the international break.
He added: "He has an issue with his hip, hopefully he hasn't done anything to the joint itself. He is in a lot of pain at the moment and struggling to walk. I'd be very surprised if he meets up with his international team."