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Sherwood admits after West Brom draw that Spurs chief Levy took gamble on him

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood. Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images Spurs manager Tim Sherwood. Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Thursday, December 26, 2013
7:53 PM

Tim Sherwood admits chairman Daniel Levy has taken a gamble on him after he came away from his first match in charge of Tottenham with an underwhelming draw against West Brom.

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Eyebrows were raised on Monday when Sherwood was handed an 18-month contract as Spurs’ new head coach, and it was clear from the Boxing Day display against Albion that he still has much work to do.

Spurs drew 1-1 against the struggling Baggies after Jonas Olsson’s easy tap-in cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning free-kick.

Tottenham held onto the lead for less than two minutes and they were regularly exposed at the back by some fluid counter-attacking from the visitors, who arrived at White Hart Lane having not won in their previous seven games.

Emmanuel Adebayor - whose error led to the Olsson goal - had an off day up front and had it not been for some good goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris, Tottenham could have suffered another damaging defeat.

A smattering of boos rang out at the final whistle to sum up how the home supporters viewed the performance.

“The fans will be disappointed, obviously. I understand that,” Sherwood said.

“We are at home and, with respect, against West Brom you should be winning.

“It’s a game we should have won. We should have played better and we are capable of playing better.

“I thought we could be a bit more adventurous around the penalty box and show a little more guile.”

Sherwood was appointed caretaker following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas and he delivered an encouraging win over Southampton last weekend.

The former Spurs midfielder laid out his unconditional commitment to attacking football in that match and he repeated that stance at White Hart Lane on Boxing Day.

Sherwood omitted a holding midfielder from the line-up, and Tottenham were exposed as a result, but he insists the team will become a more cohesive unit once they have spent more time working together at the end of the hectic festive schedule.

Still, with his only previous managerial experience coming at youth level, he knows his appointment is a punt on Levy’s part.

“It’s a gamble because I’ve never done it before,” the 44-year-old said.

“But there are a lot of good managers who had never done it before and become a success.

“I was never a professional footballer until I stepped on to the field.”

The fact that he only has a contract until the end of next season has prompted suggestions that Sherwood is keeping the seat warm for someone with more experience.

“I regard (that) as an insult, but it is only an insult if I go and win all the games,” Sherwood said.

“What can we do? If we win all the games and someone else comes in and keeps it and brings someone else in after I’ve won the league then I’m going to Real Madrid,” he added with a smile.

Sherwood says the players have responded well to his appointment, and bemoaned the fact that he had almost a full team of unfit players unavailable.

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