sport

Sherwood silent on future talk

Tim Sherwood was keen to steer talk away from his future as Tottenham Hotspur boss after overseeing a 5-1 win over Sunderland.

The build-up to Monday's crushing victory over the rock-bottom Black Cats was dominated by reports that Sherwood - who penned an 18-month contract with Spurs in December after being asked to succeed Andre Villas-Boas - will be relieved of his managerial duties in the summer regardless of where he finishes in the Premier League table.

There has been no confirmation from within White Hart Lane that such a decision has been taken, and it is business as usual as far as the playing staff are concerned.

They offered the perfect tonic for their boss against Sunderland, with an early opener from Lee Cattermole cancelled out before the interval in a contest which saw Emmanuel Adebayor net twice and Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Gylfi Sigurdsson also get in on the act.

Sherwood was delighted with the five-star showing from his side and is eager to keep focus locked on events on the field, rather than speculation off it.

He told Sky Sports: "My future? I can't comment on anything on my employment, you will have to ask my employer about that.

"As far as I'm concerned, I set the team out well tonight, we outplayed Sunderland. We knew it would be a tough game, because they have got their threats, and we've done the job well tonight. On to the next.

"We've got five games left and we think we can win all five games. We don't know where that might take us.

"All I was focused on was winning the game tonight, preparing the boys correctly. You've just got to be professional.

"It's been an opportunity to manage this great club and I'm relishing it. My record has been very good. In the Premier League, any manager who has been here, I think my win percentage is higher than any of them."

Pressed on whether he was charged with the task of guiding Tottenham to a top four finish and may pay the price if he falls short of delivering UEFA Champions League football, Sherwood added: "No, not at all. There was never any talk.

"Obviously we wanted Champions League football, but there was never any pressure or talk about having to finish in the Champions League. Basically, it's just go out and do your best.

"They made a decision that they wanted to make a change and they asked me if I would like the opportunity, and I said, 'If it was right for me'. That's as far as it's gone. That's where we are now.

"I'm doing my best in every game to try and get this team high up the league and I'll continue to do that until the end."

Sherwood has inherited a side assembled by his predecessor Villas-Boas and technical director Franco Baldini.

When pressed on how he has found working with a middle man between the boardroom and dugout, Sherwood said: "I don't know any different than that, working with a sporting director.

"Obviously the players that were brought into the club were brought in for Andre Villas-Boas, he was the manager at the time. They certainly aren't bad players. It takes time, seven new players to integrate into the team. You aren't going to hit the floor running with all of them.

"You are never going to turn down the opportunity to take that job if you get offered it.

"If it was a perfect situation, you would rather have a pre-season, bring in your own players, but that hasn't been the case for me and I've just got on with it. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, it's been a great opportunity and I'm very proud to manage this football club."