Tim Sherwood admits he is piling the pressure on his Aston Villa flops, telling them they can’t afford to drop any more points in their bid for survival.
Sherwood replaced the sacked Paul Lambert last month, but his arrival has not had an immediate impact on the lowest-scoring side in all four divisions. Last weekend the Midlands giants suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Stoke City, and on Saturday afternoon, they lost for a seventh successive time in the league when a Papiss Cisse goal was enough to give Newcastle United victory at St James Park.
This result ensures Villa remain in the bottom three for another weekend, although only goal difference is keeping them there. With just 11 matches of the season remaining and a hugely difficult looking April around the corner, there is a very real danger of the seven-times champions losing their top-flight status, and this is something Sherwood continues to remind his players of.
“I’m ramping up the pressure on them,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m telling them we can’t drop any more points. We have to take points in every game we play. Simple as that. People say we’re too good to go down with all this quality. It’s all nonsense. You have to prove it on the pitch. You have to go out there and do it. We need to show quality under pressure. That’s what we need to do.”
Villa return to action on Tuesday evening when they host West Bromwich Albion, a match which will be repeated in the FA Cup quarter-final four days later. Sherwood and his players then travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Gustavo Poyet’s Sunderland on 14 March, before they welcome Swansea City to Villa Park a week later ahead of what will be a crucial April in which they travel to both Manchester clubs and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as welcoming Queens Park Rangers.