Sherwood targets derby win

Tim Sherwood is intent on ending Tottenham's "dark spell" by securing north London bragging rights this weekend.

The past week has been a tough one for Spurs, as they saw the embarrassing 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea compounded by Thursday's 3-1 home defeat to Benfica in the Europa League.

It was a loss that all but ends their hopes of winning a trophy in a season in which an elusive top-four berth now looks beyond them, although victory against Arsenal would keep those slim hopes alive.

However, for Sherwood, who scored the winner in Spurs' 2-1 defeat of their bitter rivals in 1999, the most important thing is putting a smile back on people's faces on Sunday.

"It is a real dark spell for us at the moment," Sherwood said. "These two games we've taken heavy defeats and it is a great opportunity to bounce back.

"These are great games, big games. You always wanted to be part of it as a player.

"You always wanted to play Arsenal every week, not that the results were that great but the occasion was fantastic. I am relishing it."

This will be Sherwood's second north London derby as a manager, having exited the FA Cup at the third-round stage after losing 2-0 at the Emirates in January.

It is a match remembered for Theo Walcott making a '2-0' gesture at Spurs fans as he left the field on a stretcher, leading him to be pelted by objects from the away end.

An anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee suffered in that match means Walcott will not feature at White Hart Lane and Sherwood hopes there is no trouble this time.

"No one wants to see any incidents during the game," he said. "I just hope they come and see a hard-fought game on the pitch and get home safely.

"I suppose it was banter to Theo but it wasn't to our fans. The sensible thing would probably have been to walk across the pitch with the stretcher."

The injury sustained that day has ruled Walcott out of the World Cup squad and questions are now being asked about the fitness of one of Tottenham's England players.

Kyle Walker had to pull out of the recent friendly with Denmark with a groin injury and Sherwood revealed it is a problem that is still bugging him as Brazil edges closer.

"The medical team are assessing him and getting him through this period," he said, after the right-back featured in the defeats to Chelsea and Benfica.

"The boy wants to soldier on and play through it at the moment, which is credit to him.

"It is a pelvic problem and something that might need attention. I've had it myself, it is nagging, it is always there in the back of your mind.

"If he can manage it, he wants to continue to play."