Monday 18 December 2017

Sherwood: Villa must cope with pressure

Aston Villa players must accept and cope with the pressure they are under as they battle to retain their Premier League status, manager Tim Sherwood said.

Sherwood has overseen two defeats since taking the job and Villa lie second from bottom with 11 matches left, putting their 27-year stay in the top flight in peril heading into tonight's home game against West Bromwich Albion.

"The pressure should be on them already. If they are not feeling the pressure being second bottom of the league, playing for a massive club like Aston Villa then something is seriously wrong," the new manager (below) told a news conference.

Villa took the lead against Stoke City before losing 2-1 to a last-gasp penalty and they went down 1-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday. "I was far more encouraged in the Newcastle game than Stoke but that's because I've had more time," Sherwood said.

"Zero points could have easily been six, it could have been four. We have to bounce back and get points as soon as we can."

Villa have scored only 13 league goals in 27 games this season, nine fewer than any other Premier League team.

They are one of only seven clubs to play in the Premier League every season since it started in 1992 and their 103 top-flight campaigns is second only to Everton's record of 111.

Meanwhile, West Brom boss Tony Pulis will talk to Stephane Sessegnon about diving after the forward was booked for simulation against Southampton at the weekend.

The Benin international received a yellow card during Saturday's 1-0 Premier League win when he took on full-back Nathaniel Clyne before going to ground inside the box.

Pulis has vowed to discuss the matter with Sessegnon and insists his views on it are clear. "I've looked at it but I'll speak to Sess first, before I speak to anybody else," he said. "It's not a delicate one to talk about at all. My stance is that it should not be in the game."

Sessegnon could be the closest thing Pulis has to a striker for tonight's derby against Aston Villa, with Brown Ideye, Saido Berahino and Victor Anichebe all doubts.

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