Spurs boss: Only people who expect us to beat Chelsea are in our dressing room
PUBLISHED: 15:01 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:10 07 March 2014
Tim Sherwood says his Tottenham side can go to Chelsea with no pressure and “enjoy the day” because “the only people that expect us to win are inside our dressing room”.
Spurs have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990, while Jose Mourinho has never lost a league game at home during his two periods in charge of the Blues, a run of 74 top-flight fixtures.
History is against the Lilywhites, and their head coach was happy to embrace the role of the underdog at his press conference today, while insisting that his players are fully capable of causing an upset.
“Why’s it been so tough for us at Chelsea? I’ve no idea,” he said. “Obviously what has happened in the past we have to put to the back of our minds.
“We have to go there and impose ourselves and hopefully we can get a positive result, but there is absolutely no pressure on the boys, is there?
“Our record is so bad that we can go there and take the shackles off and enjoy the day.The only people that expect us to win are inside our dressing room.
“We’ve been good away from home - although obviously our recent away game was poor. We played Norwich and we got beaten.
“If we play anything like what we did at Norwich they’ll be putting more bulbs in the scoreboard.
“But we need to make sure that we’re a lot better than that, and we will be. The motivation of the players is there, the record suggests that.
“We’re going to go up there and give it everything. It’s a chance for the players to put themselves in the record books and we’re confident that we can spring a surprise, because after all it is going to be a surprise isn’t it, if we beat Chelsea at the Bridge.”
Asked to comment on Mourinho’s unbeaten home record, Sherwood said: “It’s incredible. I can’t understand why Chelsea fans like him so much!
“It would be great if it was me and Tottenham. Someone has to beat them - but Mourinho might argue that.
“He pretty much fitted back in from when he left. It’s about winning and he knows how to win.
“If you can entertain and win at the same time then good, but I think the more important thing for Mourinho is to get the three points and invariably he does that.
“They’re up there, they’re the ones to be fired at at the top of he league at the moment. They’ve got players within the squad that know how to win, which is important and it helps him along the way.
“But he has got a fantastic record since he has been in England and one that everyone needs to aspire to.”
Sherwood admits his side will be particularly wary of Eden Hazard, who has contributed 12 goals and seven assists in the Premier League this season.
“Is there a better player in England at the moment? Possibly not,” he said. “He is genuinely word-class.
“I think they’ve got a few players who are genuinely world-class and he is certainly one, and one we’ve obviously got to pay attention to tomorrow.
“If you let him have a free reign of the park then he can hurt you. He is one that does inspire Chelsea, gives them a spark and makes things happen for them. We are going to have to keep a close eye on him.”
Sherwood has often played with two strikers during his time in charge of Tottenham, and he was cagey when asked whether he will adopt a more reserved approach tomorrow.
“We’re going to respect them,” he said. “They’ve got world-class players in certain areas of the field and we have to make sure we’re compact enough to stop them first and foremost - but then we need to impose ourselves on the Chelsea side. I’m undecided. Well I’m not, but I’m not telling you! We know exactly what we’re going to do. We’ve got a plan and hope it comes off.”
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