Thursday 22 February 2018

Sherwood wants the best of Benteke

Tim Sherwood believes six wins will keep Villa in the Barclays Premier League
Tim Sherwood believes six wins will keep Villa in the Barclays Premier League
Tim Sherwood has challenged Christian Benteke to keep Aston Villa in the Premier League

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood challenged Christian Benteke to fire himself back to form and throw the matchball in his doubters' faces.

The misfiring striker has scored just three times this season with Villa second bottom of the Barclays Premier League ahead of Saturday's trip to Newcastle.

Villa are the lowest scoring team in the top flight having hit just 13 goals in 26 games this season.

Benteke has contributed just two of those and Sherwood threw down the gauntlet to the Belgium hitman ahead of their trip to the north-east.

"I want to see him take the matchball with a hat-trick and throw it back in people's faces," he said.

"Teams should be scared of him. They've got memories like me. I remember him terrorising defenders. We need to get him back to that. He's only young.

"We don't want to try to patronise him, we want to try to tell him some home truths, 'you were one of the best strikers in the country and everybody wanted you, Aston Villa didn't want to sell you and now we need to get you back to that.' It's in there. It's not a flash in the pan, it's embedded into him.

"He scores one in two. He's a prolific goalscorer and we need to help him. The rest of the group need to help him - but we need to find goals from other areas as well."

Villa lost Sherwood's first game 2-1 at home to Stoke last weekend, their sixth successive defeat, leaving them in the bottom three on goal difference.

Sherwood insisted, though, he needs time to improve Villa after their season of struggle under ex-boss Paul Lambert.

He said: "I dwell on it because I'm always mulling over the game, could we have done anything differently?

"I beat myself up about it. If I put it into perspective, after a couple of days in training, I haven't come in here with a magic wand.

"No one expected that. It's going to be difficult, it's going to be a work in progress and the more time I have on the training field with the guys the more confidence I have we can turn this position around."

Press Association

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