sport

Ferdinand backs Sherwood

Tottenham Hotspur coach Les Ferdinand has backed under-fire boss Tim Sherwood following two successive defeats.

After last Saturday's 4-0 loss to Chelsea, the Spurs manager was criticised for publicly condemning his team's performance - believing his side lacked 'characters'.

And with Spurs' chances of claiming Europa League glory looking doubtful, following Thursday's 3-1 home defeat to Benfica, Ferdinand insists that Sherwood is the right man for the job.

"The one thing I always wanted from managers was honesty," Ferdinand told the Daily Express.

"Players need to stand up. They need to understand. I've heard a lot of people saying Tim did the wrong thing criticising them. No he hasn't.

"He said it was a gutless performance. If you're sitting in that changing room, you are going to look at yourself and ask - was I gutless today?

"Some of the players won't think they were gutless. The ones that realise they were are going to take it on board. And learn from it. Sometimes, footballers have to ask themselves questions," he added.

"Tim is direct, open and honest. Sometimes, people can't deal with that."

The former Spurs striker insists that the players do not have to be friendly with their boss, but hopes a mutual respect will help lead Sherwood's side to a victory over rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

"I've never been at a football club where every player liked the manager," Ferdinand said.

"You haven't got to like each other. If there is respect, you can work well on the football pitch.

"Listen it's a north London derby. The plan goes out the window. Its all about who turns up on the day."

"And, naturally enough, who shows the most guts."