Now Palacios must play his cards right
By Ben Pearce FORMER Spurs captain Tim Sherwood admits that Wilson Palacios is walking a tightrope as he struggles to avoid a costly 10th booking against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. Sherwood, who made 93 appearances for the Lilywhites between 1999 and 2003, is now
FORMER Spurs captain Tim Sherwood admits that Wilson Palacios is walking a "tightrope" as he struggles to avoid a costly 10th booking against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Sherwood, who made 93 appearances for the Lilywhites between 1999 and 2003, is now coaching Tottenham's midfielders and is well aware of Palacios' importance - particularly at a time when four Spurs midfielders are sidelined through injury.
However, the Honduran hardman is just one yellow card away from a two-match suspension, and Sherwood admits he will be biting his nails when Blackburn visit White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.
"He's been outstanding, especially on Saturday - he was our best player against Fulham," said Sherwood. "When we needed to get the game broken up he did that. You're talking about a player who loves to tackle and he's on nine bookings - he has been for a few weeks now.
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"We're just trying to get him over that threshold, there's an amnesty on April 11, and we hope he doesn't get a suspension because we will surely miss him if he did.
"The only advice I could give him is just 'don't tackle', but we don't want to take that away. He's managed to creep through the last four weeks so we're hoping he can continue, but it really is a tightrope for him.
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"He's a wonderful player, he's got great energy, he sets the tempo and I think he's what Tottenham have been missing for many a year. He was been sent off against Blackburn last season so it's a real tough one.
"He's just got to be sensible with it, no cheap bookings, but if the referee decides to book him on a tackle which is full-blooded and he has to go for it then that's just one of those unfortunate things."
While Sherwood is adamant that he will be firmly in the Tottenham corner this weekend, he concedes that he has a soft spot for Blackburn.
The 41-year-old famously skippered Rovers to the Premier League title in 1995, and made nearly 250 appearances for the Lancashire outfit between 1992 and 1999, when he joined Spurs for �3million.
"I always look for their results - I had a great time there. It's a club that's very close to my heart but I won't be supporting them on Saturday," said Sherwood. "It would be a very poor result if we don't win.
"We'd expect to beat them home and away, and we obviously did away but we know it's going to be a tough game. They're a hard-working side, as you'd expect from a Sam Allardyce side, and they've got quality.
"Finishing in the top four would be beyond expectations for us. We were always looking to challenge for a European spot but to be here on the fringe of qualifying for the Champions League is really an incredible season.
"We've been there all season so why should we drop away now? We've got no intention of doing that.
"The only thing that might trip us up is that we are very thin on the ground at the moment player-wise, so it's a great opportunity for some other lads who might come into the squad and prove that they are worthy of a place for next season.
"There's a lot of good footballers at our place and a lot of them the fans haven't seen before, or they haven't seen a great deal of them.
"I like Danny Rose, I think he's trained brilliantly. Jake Livermore's back from his loan period and he's capable of playing at the top level.
"They're the ones you would look at for now, but below them the likes of Dean Parrett and John Bostock, these guys have got a real chance of making it at the club. It just might take a little bit longer with them.