Friday 15 December 2017

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood calls for calm in Baggies derby

Aston Villa fans intimidate West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill during the FA Cup pitch invasion
Aston Villa fans intimidate West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Boaz Myhill during the FA Cup pitch invasion

Boss Tim Sherwood has urged Aston Villa fans to keep their derby emotions in check against West Brom.

The teams face each other at Villa Park on Saturday for the first time since their fiery FA Cup clash last season.

Villa won the quarter-final 2-1 in March but were eventually fined £200,000 after fans twice invaded the pitch, once during and once at the end of the game.

Seats were also thrown from the Albion section onto Villa supporters in the stand with Tony Pulis insisting he feared for his players' safety during the invasion.

Claudio Yacob and Jack Grealish were also sent off in the second half during a feisty game which came just four days after Villa had won their Barclays Premier League clash 2-0.

And Sherwood wants supporters to stay in their seats even if his side win the game.

He said: "I just hope that they're tempted to. If they are then we've done something right but p lease stay to the edge on the pitch. Do all your cheering from there. You do it well enough.

"They give great support to this football club, to the players and to myself.

"It can be done from their seats or standing up. Make sure you stay off the pitch.

"I just hope you get tempted to jump on it."

Idrissa Gueye's hamstring injury will be assessed on Friday after he missed Sunday's 3-2 defeat at Leicester while Carles Gil and Adama Traore (both calf) are doubts.

Sherwood added: " I hear a lot of managers say it is just another game. It is not actually. It means a lot more than that, it is local pride, bragging rights. We have to make sure we do it for our fans and ourselves."

Albion chief Pulis hopes both sets of supporters will behave themselves on Saturday following the trouble last term.

The Baggies boss, who expects to have Jonny Evans fit after a dead leg, wants any losing fans to show their character.

"Derby matches are derby matches, they are fantastic games to be involved in and wonderful occasions," he said.

"The disappointing thing last year was the crowd trouble and I hope and pray both sets of supporters go there tomorrow and really respect football. That's what it's really about, two teams going head to head and giving it everything.

"Hopefully we'll have a great game, people will behave themselves and it does take a bit of character to stand up and walk away if you have lost. That's what people should do.

"I was disappointed in the reaction of some supporters because people should go there to enjoy the game and be big enough and man enough to accept if they win, lose or draw."

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