Sherwood set for West Brom bow
25 December 2013, 17:07
London - Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood will take charge of his first game as a fulltime Premier League manager on Thursday when managerless West Bromwich Albion visit White Hart Lane.
Both clubs sacked their managers earlier this month, but Spurs moved quickly, and bravely, by appointing a man with no previous top-flight experience.
Sherwood, 44, has made a name for himself working with the youngsters at Tottenham, but now has a dream opportunity to manage one of the top clubs in Europe.
"Opportunities come in different ways, but initially he gives Tottenham some stability and he has some credentials; he is ambitious and a leader," said former Spurs manager David Pleat.
"I look back to when he was at Blackburn with Alan Shearer, David Batty, Chris Sutton and Graeme Le Saux – some big players. But he was the leader and considered the man who spoke for the team.
"He is a hard-working guy. He has developed, and, along with (assistant coaches) Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, helped develop some good players that have emerged this season."
As interim manager, Sherwood guided his side to an entertaining 3-2 win at Southampton on Sunday.
Bringing back Emmanuel Adebayor from the wilderness has also proved a key decision as the Togolese striker now has three goals in two games under Sherwood following his brace at St Mary's.
"Ade scored a fantastic goal to keep us in the game and in the second half we did the job all together to get the three points," said goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
"We showed a lot of positive things for the future. It was important to win because now we have two games at home to try to make the difference and try to come back into the top four.
"We have to continue (this form) and work together because the Christmas period is very important."
With Andros Townsend (hamstring), Younes Kaboul (thigh) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle) sidelined, Sherwood is missing some first-team players, but by handing 19-year-old midfielder Nabil Bentaleb a debut at Southampton, he showed that he is prepared to place his trust in the club's young players.
West Brom caretaker coach Keith Downing believes the mood at his club will improve once a long-term replacement for Steve Clarke is appointed, but says that he is happy to keep things ticking over for as long as necessary.
Downing will take charge of his second game at Tottenham, with Albion likely to appoint their new man by the end of the week.
"Confidence is the biggest challenge," said Downing, who saw his side draw 1-1 at home to Hull City on Saturday.
"Results dictate people's moods, so it has to be an issue. Getting people to change their confidence and get upbeat is all about results.
"At the moment the confidence is low and there is a little uncertainty, which just accumulates. But once a manager is appointed, I think things will settle down pretty quickly.
"West Brom have never made a mistake in the five years I have been here – Robbie Di Matteo, Roy Hodgson and Steve Clarke were all good selections.
"So I wouldn't want them to rush things, but the quicker it is done, in terms of settling everybody down and getting a direction, the better.
"It is important they do it soon, but if it means me holding the job for another week, so be it. That's fine, providing they get the right man."
Striker Victor Anichebe is West Brom's only injury doubt, as he is struggling with a groin injury.
- Sapa - AFP