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Spurs V West Brom at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

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24 Dec 2013 14:01:00

Spurs V West Brom at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

Spurs V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Sherwood has "no fear" - Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has laughed off suggestions that Tim Sherwood does not have the experience or knowledge to lead Tottenham back into the Champions League.


Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy took a huge gamble on Monday night when he named Sherwood as the club's new manager.


The 44-year-old, who has been given an 18-month contract, has very limited experience when it comes to management.


Sherwood has coached Spurs' development side, but his only two games in charge of the first team came when Levy sacked Villas-Boas and asked the former Tottenham midfielder to take over on a temporary basis.


But Redknapp, who first brought Sherwood to the club in 2008, is sure the former England and Blackburn man will be a success.


"They've made a great decision to give him the job," the former Spurs manager told talkSPORT.


"Villas-Boas was a scout for years and years. He never played football.


"He got thrown into the deep end, did a great job at Porto, and got the Chelsea and Tottenham job off the back of that.


"Tim has far more football experience than the previous manager had. He's been a top player and captained Blackburn. He's been coaching for many years with the Under-21s so he's not short of experience.


"He's got no fear and can handle players. He won't be afraid of talking to them because they were bought for B#20-30million, it will make no difference to him."


Sherwood took up a part-time coaching role at Spurs under Redknapp in 2008 before moving up the ladder to become technical co-ordinator.


Redknapp saw promise in Sherwood during his three-year spell at Spurs and made sure the new manager was exposed to as much experience of first-team affairs as possible.


"When I was there he travelled to every first-team game with me, including all the away European games," Redknapp added.


"He'd come and watch the first-team games every Saturday after training the kids on a Saturday. So he's been around the first team for a good few years."


Sherwood won his first Barclays Premier League game last Sunday when Spurs came from behind to register an impressive 3-2 win at Southampton.


Tottenham now sit four points off the top four but victories over West Brom and Stoke in the coming days can put the team firmly back in contention.


Redknapp took Spurs into the Champions League in 2010 and the QPR manager thinks Sherwood can achieve the same feat this year.


Redknapp even believes that Tottenham can catch second-place Arsenal, who have spent much of the season at the top of the Barclays Premier League.


"I thought Tottenham were absolute certainties to finish above Arsenal at the start of the season," Redknapp said.


"Then Arsenal lost their first game of the season, but they have done fantastic since then. But they are only six points above Tottenham.


"That's nothing. That can be wiped out in a week, so Tottenham are still bang in there.


"They have a good squad. I think Tim will get the best out of them. I wouldn't write Tottenham off four a top-four position, they have got as good a chance as the seven teams that will be scrapping it out until the end of the season."


Sherwood is expected to be without winger Aaron Lennon, who has an abdominal injury, for his first full game in charge against the Baggies on Boxing Day.


The new boss does have midfielder Mousa Dembele available though, after he recovered from an ankle injury he suffered at St Mary's last weekend.


West Brom's caretaker boss Keith Downing insists out-of-sorts striker Nicolas Anelka has a big part to play in their Christmas fixtures despite his indifferent start to life at The Hawthorns.


Downing's side face Tottenham and West Ham in the coming days as they spend much of the next week in London.


The stand-in head coach knows his squad will be stretched by the busy schedule and wants every member to play their part.


Much has been made of Anelka's lack of impact since arriving as a free agent in the summer, with the striker yet to score for the Baggies and out of action since October following a groin problem.


With Matej Vydra breaking his duck in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Hull, the French veteran faces the prospect of sliding further down the pecking order.


However, Downing is adamant Anelka is by no means a lost cause yet.


"He's preparing for the two games and bearing in mind he's nearer the end of his career, in his mid-thirties, you've got to respect that," he said.


"We're doing that and he'll have some sort of important part to play in the next couple of games."


"I'm pleased for Matej Vydra because he's been here a while and people have forgotten him a little bit. I'm pleased because he's a good type, a good professional who works hard at his game.


"He's in a good vein of form at the moment. He's come on and scored the goal, made some impact in previous games. When someone scores a goal their confidence is high so you've got to consider him for a start at Spurs."


Vydra's equaliser against the Tigers was created by fellow substitute Zoltan Gera, with the crowd favourite returning from a long-standing knee injury recently.


"I'm pleased for Zoltan too because he's had a long time out with his knee again and he's such an important person around the place," Downing added.


"He's a great influence on young pros. I'm pleased that he's come back and made an impact."


Downing is happy to continue in his role until chairman Jeremy Peace and technical director Richard Garlick appoint a new permanent head coach in their own time.


"I've been given no indication whatsoever about timing," he said. "I got a thank you and a well done from the chairman after the Hull match and a 'keep it going', but that's as much as I've got.


"I don't really want to know, to be honest, because I've got to focus on what I've got to do and that's the most important thing for me. I think if I get distracted by what's going on elsewhere, I'm not doing my job."


Striker Victor Anichebe is West Brom's only injury doubt as he is struggling with a groin problem.



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