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Sherwood discusses transfer window and calls for long-term strategy at Spurs

Tottenham's interim head coach Tim Sherwood Tottenham's interim head coach Tim Sherwood

Saturday, December 21, 2013
10:35 AM

Tim Sherwood says the last thing Tottenham need is more signings in the January transfer window, and that his focus is on getting the best out of the current squad.

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Spurs recruited seven players in the summer, all from abroad, but their contributions have been mixed and a poor run of results has left the club seventh in the Premier League, while costing head coach Andre Villas-Boas his job.

Sherwood is currently in charge on an interim basis, and he has no intention of asking chairman Daniel Levy for further recruits next month.

“I don’t know how they fit all the players out there, there’s so many,” said Sherwood. “The injuries have helped with the numbers! But you want them fit.

“It’s 15-a-side out there, what are we going to do with them all? Unless they’re going to make a difference to your starting 11 I suggest there’s no money needed there.

“They need time, a lot of these boys. When you come across and play in a different country… I never did it, but I recognise it does take time. We’re not looking to sign any players.”

Sherwood has not been told how long he will be at the helm, but he believes the club’s hierarchy need to develop the basis of an enduring philosophy and long-term strategy before deciding on their next full-time manager.

“Are we appointing for the long-term or are we appointing for instant success? That’s what the club has to decide,” he said.

“From what I’ve been doing and my experience, I think I’d be long-term - but I’m realistic enough to know that you can’t just lose games.

“It’s about the club sticking with you. I think Brendan [Rodgers] is a good example of that - he’s done it at Liverpool. The sun wasn’t always shining there but it seems like he’s turned it around now and is doing very well.”

Sherwood believes the next Spurs boss will face the challenge of improving the team’s style of play following Villas-Boas’ tenure - but he feels success will always be defined by results.

“The fans have been brought up with expansive football, playing on the front foot and they like to be entertained - but they also like to win,” he said.

“There wasn’t any problem at all with Andre last year. I didn’t hear any dissenting voices about the style of play when Gareth Bale was dribbling it up the field and sticking it in the top corner in the last minute eight times.

“The fact is that winning is very important, so it’s a fine balance between being attractive and winning games.”

Spurs fans are currently concerned by the club’s direction, decision-making and lack of communication but Sherwood said: “It’s not all doom and gloom here.

“Andre’s left this club in a decent league position to be honest, and we’ve qualified for the next stage of the Europa League.

“I’ve managed to get us knocked out of the quarter-finals of the [Capital One] Cup and we’ve got the toughest draw ever in the FA Cup, away at Arsenal, but all I can do is what I can do and be honest with the boys and with you guys.

“I’m just going to do my best for the players and see if I can get the best out of them and show them in the best light.

“How long have I wanted to be a manager? About seven days or so, I don’t even know if I do!

“Of course, it’s a massive change. I admire every manager who stands up there on the side-lines. I didn’t realise you weren’t allowed to sleep more than two hours. It’s a change, you’re waking up and thinking about footballers all night.

“It’s a pressure but I’m not scared about that – it’s something I feel I can deal with. But it’s not me who makes that decision.”

Having been heavily involved in Tottenham’s youth development in his role as technical coordinator, Sherwood is keen to ensure that the academy continues to be properly run while he is in charge of the first team – for however long that might be.

“At the moment I’m leaving what I was doing with development to step up to this,” he said. “The youth team are away in a tournament in Florida so we’re juggling that area at the moment.

“If something happened longer-term with me then that would have to be addressed because the last thing we want is to stunt their growth.

“There are some top young players down there who are ready to step up, but it’s about recognising when’s the right time to put them in and when to leave them out.”

Given his work with the club’s young talents, Sherwood may well be keen to strengthen the pathway to the first team if he is given the top job permanently.

A lack of first-team opportunities forced a number of Spurs’ home-grown talents to depart in the summer, with Steven Caulker being sold to Cardiff and Tom Carroll and Jake Livermore being loaned to QPR and Hull respectively.

“You want to keep them at your club,” said Sherwood. “You’ve worked hard since they were eight years old, bringing them through - but they can’t all stay.

“Sometimes the manager and the board need to make a decision that they want to bring in what they perceive to be extra quality, and then you have to see how it goes. You make that decision and live and die by it.

“Every club who have been successful at bringing their players through always buy players as well - that’s the nature of it. My point a view is that I like to buy players who are going to make a difference to your [starting] 11.

“Would I consider recalling some the players who are out on loan? I’ll get this game out of the way on Sunday [away at Southampton] and then I’ll have to assess it and see how long I’m here for.

“There’s no point bringing them back and away from the club where they’re getting game time, because the loans have worked for us.

“Danny Rose is a good example. Nobody really trusted Danny until he had to go and prove himself on loan. I trusted him - Andros [Townsend] as well.

“There are a lot of players like that. Livermore’s now playing every game at Hull, so we’ve got good players who are playing and making themselves good assets for other clubs at the moment.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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