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Sherwood: Spurs victory at Arsenal would be the pinnacle of my managerial career

16:00 03 January 2014

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood, pictured in the Old Trafford dug-out during Spurs' victory over Manchester United on New Year's Day

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood, pictured in the Old Trafford dug-out during Spurs' victory over Manchester United on New Year's Day

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tim Sherwood says a victory over Arsenal in tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at the Emirates would eclipse Tottenham’s triumph at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day and become the pinnacle of his fledgling managerial career.

Spurs’ new head coach led his side to a notable 2-1 win away at Manchester United on Wednesday, but there is no time to dwell on that success.

The Lilywhites arguably face an even greater challenge tomorrow when they visit their great north London rivals in the third round of the FA Cup.

And, while Sherwood admits he would have preferred an easier tie and a chance to rest some players after the busy festive period, he is keen to embark on a prolonged cup run and take Tottenham to the final.

“It would be the pinnacle of my very short managerial career if we were to go to the Emirates and still have our name in the hat on Sunday,” he said. “It’s a massive competition for this club. It’s got great tradition and history in this competition.

“We would love to have been able to play a lower league team and blood some younger players and give them that experience, but once that name comes out of the hat – Arsenal at the Emirates – it’s impossible to do that.

“It’s the biggest game for this football club and we have to show the competition respect and show our fans respect and take a team there and try to win the game.

“I think other managers have got other priorities - they have to have a look at what’s the biggest need for them. But for me it’s a huge competition and it always has been.

“I’ve never been that fortunate in it, I’ve played in a few semi-finals – perhaps more than a few – and that is a real disappointment, to go out and lose in them. It would be fantastic if we could go one further and perhaps take Tottenham to the final.

“We’re used to good cup runs at this club. I haven’t been very successful in my cup runs as a manager at the moment – one game, one loss – so it’s not tremendous, but hopefully I can improve on that tomorrow.”

Eyebrows were raised when a video recently emerged of Sherwood admitting to being a boyhood Arsenal fan.

During a television appearance he stated: “I’m an Arsenal fan as a kid, my dad still goes to the Emirates every week. I’d love to see them do well.”

However, Sherwood has played down any former allegiance to the Gunners, and says his focus is on securing success for Spurs.

“People have asked me this millions of times,” he said. “I’m from north London but the truth is I always support the team I represent, I always have done.

“I wear my heart on my sleeve for the team I’m representing and that is Tottenham at the moment.”

While Sherwood has another big game to prepare for tomorrow, the January transfer window is also open – and, while the head coach believes he would be given money to spend if requested, he maintains there is little work to be done.

“I haven’t sat down and spoken to them [chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini],” said the 44-year-old. “I don’t think we need players, we need to get the ones that we have fit.

“If there is anyone who springs up who could really make us better, in our XI, then possibly we will go in. The club have notoriously backed their managers and I don’t think it will be different with me. But I really think we will be fine once we have everyone fit.”

Asked whether he will be the man to pick any new recruits, Sherwood replied: “I think it would have to be, yes, and I think it has always been like that.”

Spurs have been rumoured to be interested in a loan move for Manchester City centre-back Joleon Lescott, given the Lilywhites’ injury problems in defence.

But Sherwood said: “We are not looking for any players at the moment. I’m just looking at that treatment room and seeing if it can empty. If it does we can assess what we need or might need.

“He’s a good player, isn’t he? But there are a lot of good players at different clubs and he is at Man City at the moment so I can’t comment on that.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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