Tim Sherwood draws derby battle line
Villa boss has eye on Wembley ahead of Cup clash with Baggies
Tim Sherwood has redrawn the derby battle lines and warned West Brom they will have to improve to end Aston Villa's Wembley dream.
The sides face a rematch in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday after Villa's dramatic 2-1 Premier League win on Tuesday.
Christian Benteke's last-minute penalty sealed Sherwood's first victory as Villa boss and lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone before last night's fixtures.
And ahead of their second showdown this week, Sherwood is eyeing another derby success.
He said: "Now the cup is the most important one as it's the next one and we want to get to Wembley. West Brom will have to improve to stop us getting there.
"I'm confident I'm telling them the right things to do but there is nothing like a win to cement things.
"Everyone can see we're improving and the result is massive for us." Villa have struggled all season and it was only their sixth win of a wretched league campaign, and Sherwood admitted they must forget about their fight against the drop in order to escape it.
He said: "We've got a group of players who are not really suited to a relegation battle, if I'm honest.
"The old-fashioned style is blood and thunder to dig out results so we have to change it.
"We have to play as if we're not in a relegation battle. We have to pass the ball and move and we did that in the first half. It takes bravery to do that, especially against an expectant crowd." Saido Berahino cancelled out Gabby Agbonlahor's first-half opener before the hosts claimed derby bragging rights after Ben Foster's rush of blood saw him take out Matt Lowton for Benteke's match-winning penalty
Albion boss Tony Pulis (below) did not rise to Sherwood's comments, though, and insisted his side remain focused.
"Did he (say that)? Like I say, we'll take Saturday's game as it comes," he said. "I'll have a look at what the squad is like and then we'll go from there.
"They (the fans) might think Wembley and Saturday was more important, it wasn't for me. The next game is always the most important.
"If Ben didn't make a mistake we'd be very happy."