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‘Sherwood half-time team talk inspired Aston Villa to FA Cup win’

first_img1 New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood delivered a half-time pep talk which inspired the side’s FA Cup victory over Leicester, according to first-team coach Scott Marshall.The new Villans boss, who this week was appointed the successor to axed chief Paul Lambert, was sat in the stands at Villa Park but had to endure a poor, scrappy opening 45 minutes.But the hosts looked much improved after the break, with Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair both netting late on to send Villa into the last eight for the first time in five years.Marshall was the man in charge following Wednesday’s sacking of Lambert but admitted Sherwood made his presence felt on Sunday.“He came in and made a couple of points to the lads, a couple of bits and pieces for everyone. I thought the boys delivered that in the second half and were very good,” he said.“He was there and there was good information to the group, there’s a football knowledge there which comes with a lifetime in the game.“He was in the dressing room before the game briefly, not a huge amount, but he introduced himself and wished the boys the best.”Sherwood did not have any input in the team selection but watched with chief executive Tom Fox after being appointed until 2018 on Saturday.Marshall is keen to stay on at Villa, after being brought in by Lambert, and will speak to Sherwood about his future.He said: “The focal point has been the game and preparing the players. I am sure the next few days will take care of itself. The group have been very professional.“They have delivered on the pitch and showed a great spirit and togetherness. They know they are going to have to take it forward in a league campaign.”And Marshall admitted he had spoken to the axed Lambert ahead of the game at Villa Park.“He gave me a bit of encouragement for the day and wanted the team to do well and that was it really,” he added. New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood last_img read more

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Premier League fight to survive hots up but the drop not always disastrous

first_imgfeatures Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Read more Read more Demise of the match-day programme threatens treasured memories Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Huddersfield Twitter Topics Burnley Share on LinkedIn Pinterest Sportblog The splendid job Roy Hodgson has done at Crystal Palace was emphasised by the five-goal rout of demoralised Leicester at the weekend, though it was merely the culmination of an impressive sequence of six games in which the only defeat came at the hands of Liverpool and Palace managed to either beat or share points with four of their relegation rivals.In the process Palace have climbed above Brighton, Bournemouth and Watford, all clubs who were considered to be having decent seasons, and probably made themselves safe. Hodgson has said he does not like hearing about mathematical possibilities and only described his team as being on the verge of safety with 38 points, though he also said he would have been reasonably happy with 36 points and a superior goal average.center_img Facebook Huddersfield have to endure the title party at Manchester City this weekend followed by a trip to Chelsea then the visit of Arsenal on the last day, so it is possible that 35 points is where the Terriers will stay. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images This season 38 points will most likely be enough (Brighton are on 37 and entertain Manchester United on Friday), so Bournemouth and Watford can also consider most of the work done, even if they might need a couple more points or a favourable result elsewhere to properly relax.There are six teams below that quartet, and some have to play each other. Neither of the two teams at the bottom, Stoke and West Bromwich, can possibly reach 38 points because they only have two games left. Southampton could theoretically reach 39 points, though if they do it will involve not only a win at Everton on Saturday but taking three points from a visit to Swansea on Tuesday, which would impact the Welsh side’s hopes of survival.At the moment, although Carlos Carvalhal’s team are only a point above the bottom three on 33 points, they must quietly fancy their chances because they have three games left and they are all against sides in the bottom half of the table: Bournemouth, Southampton and Stoke.The complication there is that two of those sides are in the bottom three and fighting for their lives – witness Southampton’s overdue victory against Bournemouth on Saturday and Stoke’s creditable draw at Anfield – and at this stage of the season practically any result is possible, though it should also be said that by the time Stoke arrive in south Wales for what has long looked a final-day decider one or both of the teams could have no hope left.The best hope for the three teams above West Brom is that one or both of West Ham and Huddersfield could still drop into the equation, with the Yorkshire side looking most in danger. Both teams are level on 35 points, but whereas West Ham could start to climb with a visit to out-of-sorts Leicester this weekend, Huddersfield have to endure the title party at Manchester City. The Terriers then complete a difficult run-in with a trip to Chelsea followed by the visit of Arsenal on the last day, so it is possible, without wishing to put any sort of hex on David Wagner and his players, that 35 points is where Huddersfield will stay. Share on Pinterest West Ham have Manchester United away and Everton at home as their last two games, two sets of opponents that David Moyes knows particularly well. Moyes also has more Premier League experience than Wagner, as do his players, and though there has been much more turbulence in and around the London Stadium this season than in West Yorkshire one would have to say that the respective run-ins give the Irons a slightly better chance of picking up points. One or two may be all it takes. Share via Email Premier League Share on Facebook Yet before too much time is wasted on unnecessary extrapolation there are this weekend’s fixtures to consider. By close of play on Saturday West Brom and Stoke could be down, or Swansea and Southampton in more trouble than they anticipated.West Brom will not be expecting any late salvation whatever their result against Tottenham. Indeed they could win their last home match of the season and still have relegation confirmed if Southampton and Swansea pick up victories. Both are away to mid-table clubs – Swansea at Bournemouth, Southampton at Everton – so perhaps that is an unlikely scenario, but both still have two games to play after the weekend.Stoke do not, and simply must win at home against Palace, no ifs or buts, for the trip to south Wales on the last day to be anything more than a fond farewell to the Premier League.At least Stoke can look back (should it come to that) on 10 years in the top flight, which is pretty good going these days when there is an invisible but effective ceiling on what mid-size, mid-table clubs can hope to achieve.Should Huddersfield go down they will be leaving after a single season, though they have won a lot of friends in the Premier League and do not have to look very far to understand that relegation need not be the end of the world. Burnley too came up and went down then came back up again, and look where they are now. They are not in this relegation resumé, for a start. Share on Twitter Burton put reality check on hold in bid for Championship miracle Premier League football is an expensive business, everybody knows that, but Sean Dyche’s side are a terrific advertisement for the fact that relegation need not necessarily be ruinous. Burnley are far from the wealthiest club around, though they are not quite run on a shoestring either. That is a bit of a myth. They have to pay competitive fees and wages, though what is real is the growth and positivity the club has produced over the past few years.It is easy to feel jaded about the parallel universe of the Premier League, the bloated egos and enormous incomes, but Burnley are an antidote. They make the over-paid and over-hyped Premier League feel like a healthier place.• This article was amended on 2 May 2018 to make the headline clearer Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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