Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood came out fighting on Monday as his side ended a day full of speculation about his future with a 5-1 crushing of Sunderland in the Premier League.
All eyes were on the former Blackburn Rovers and Spurs midfielder after a Sky Sports report that he would be replaced at the end of the season.
“I’m the best manager this club has ever seen,” the jocular Sherwood joked with reporters after being asked whether he was the best man for the job despite speculation linking Netherlands World Cup coach Louis van Gaal to the White Hart Lane hot seat.
“I have been given an opportunity to manage this football club and I owe it to the fans … to do the job professionally and I just get on with the job.
“We got five (goals) and it should have been more. You can’t do too much more than that. It can be tricky when teams are fighting for their lives but I said to the boys take the shackles off now, you’ve got six more games and go and win all of them and see where it takes us.”
Two goals from striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who Sherwood restored to the team in the wake of Villas-Boas’s sacking, and a superb display by Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen who chipped in with a goal and two assists, earned Sherwood his 10th win in 17 Premier League games — a healthy record for a rookie at this level.
Adebayor led the praise by saluting Sherwood after his goals and bringing a smile to the face of a manager who, as in his playing days, wears his heart very much on his sleeve.
“I’m not surprised Ade backed me he never played before I got here!” joked Sherwood. “The players are backing me and I back them. What they get from me is honesty. When they don’t do it I tell them and when they do well I pat them on the back. That’s healthy.”