Sherwood plays down Hoddle comments

Tim Sherwood has hit back at Glenn Hoddle after the former Tottenham manager criticised his players' mentality in the defeat at Liverpool.

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood arrives at the ground

Spurs were humiliated at Anfield last weekend as the Barclays Premier League title challengers ran out comprehensive 4-0 victors.

The Reds were ahead inside two minutes due to a Younes Kaboul own goal, and Luis Suarez put them further ahead before half-time, when Hoddle claimed his former side looked beaten before they took to the field.

The former Spurs boss, speaking during Sky Sports' live coverage, said the players "were too relaxed, too flimsy" and headed to the north-west "with no steel" - comments that clearly got under the skin of Sherwood.

"I don't know what he said - Glenn's got a lot of opinion and he's also got a lot of opinion about Tottenham, and he's entitled to that," the Spurs head coach said of the man he played under between 2001 and 2003.

"It's been a long time since Glenn Hoddle's managed a football team, and the game has moved on quite significantly.

"I'm not saying that it's anything to do with whether the body language is correct or not, but that wouldn't have been brought up if we had gone out and won the game.

"I think you can look at history at some teams who played very well from the outset, probably won the game very easily, and some of them might have been leaning on the walls and doing that, but it never would have been brought up.

"I've been a pundit myself. It's easy to look for something when you've got nothing else to talk about, other than to be critical of your ex-side."

The pair's relationship has been strained since Sherwood's playing days, when Hoddle moved on the former Spurs captain to Portsmouth in January 2003.

That summer, with the pressure mounting on the former England boss, Sherwood said that no-one would "shed a single tear" if he was sacked and that getting rid of him was "the only way they will bring success back".

Tottenham eventually parted company with Hoddle in September 2003 and, despite only having an ill-fated spell at Wolves since then, he has been keen for a return to management.

Hoddle last month claimed he came close to returning as manager following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking, only for Sherwood to be handed the gig on an 18-month deal.

However, speculation is mounting that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could soon be replacing the former midfielder, with Louis van Gaal, Mauricio Pochettino and Frank de Boer all linked with the job.

"I know the media have got a job to do and the speculation is not going to end when you have other managers and national managers touting for your job," Sherwood said. "They are the ones who are fuelling it.

"It is part of the course when you are managing a big club like Tottenham. I have got big enough shoulders - what I am supposed to do?"

Rather than fretting about the future, Sherwood's only concern is getting positive results between now and the end of the season.

Embattled Sunderland arrive at White Hart Lane on Monday, when Emmanuel Adebayor is in line for a return from three weeks out with a hamstring problem and gash on his heel.

"There's a chance he could start," Sherwood said. "He's done a week's training so he's got enough time under his belt.

"He won't be 100 per cent but he's quite good at 70 per cent.

"You're obviously going to miss a player of his quality but he's looked good. We're happy with what he's produced this week."

Fellow striker Roberto Soldado will miss the clash with Sunderland after being carried off at Anfield.

Jan Vertonghen is also absent after sustaining an injury at Liverpool, although Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho are back in contention.



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