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Friday 9 December 2016

Tim Sherwood: Villa must beat QPR in our biggest game in years

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood

Tim Sherwood has urged Aston Villa to man up as he labelled their clash with relegation rivals QPR the club's "biggest game" for years.

They host Rangers on Tuesday with Sherwood admitting he does not have the players to grind out results.

Victory would move Villa five points clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone but they will return to the bottom three if QPR, three points behind with a better goal difference, win.

And Sherwood underlined the magnitude of the game ahead of the showdown.

"I think this is the biggest game that a lot of these players have ever played for this football club," he said, with Villa in 17th.

"This is without doubt the biggest game of the season for Villa and possibly one of the biggest in a number of years.

"This is the biggest (of my managerial career)."

But the boss believes he must instil a different mentality into his players as he tries to keep them in the top flight.

"We've got different types of players, you look through QPR's side and they've got a lot of players who are men - with a lot of experience in there," he said.

"We've got a few men in there - but we've got a lot of pretty much icing-on-the-cake players and I'm trying to get that mentality into them to forget about digging out results. It's not what we're cut out to do.

"I haven't identified many players who can't cope with the pressure, but you don't know until they get out there.'

Sherwood is without Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Scott Sinclair while Tom Cleverley, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho are doubts.

Sherwood faces his friend and former Tottenham assistant, QPR boss Chris Ramsey, for the first time since they both left Spurs last summer.

Ramsey has admitted his job at Rangers could be under threat if they get relegated and, while he admitted Ramsey may prefer to be a manager, Sherwood left the door open for a reunion at Villa.

He added: "If there was ever an opportunity for me to work with him again I would do that.

"I would have to speak to the club about whether we could find a role for him here.

"Listen, I know I am biased - he has been good for me and I have been good for him. But he is up there with the very best coaches I have ever seen."

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