FA Cup: Sherwood pep talk fires Villa

 
Frank Dalleres
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ASTON VILLA 2 LEICESTER CITY 1

ASTON Villa goalkeeper Shay Given credited a half-time rallying cry from new manager Tim Sherwood with inspiring them to end their losing streak and reach the last eight of the FA Cup.

Goals from midfielder Leandro Bacuna and winger Scott Sinclair ended a three-match slump that resulted in Paul Lambert’s sacking last week, despite Andrej Kramaric’s late header for Leicester. Sherwood, who officially takes charge today, watched from the stands but felt moved to visit the home dressing room and address his new players after a tepid first 45 minutes.

“He just came into the dressing room at half-time and spoke positively to us,” said Given. “I’ve known Tim from our Blackburn days and he’s a very positive character.”

First-team coach Scott Marshall added: “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.”

Bacuna curled Villa ahead on 68 minutes and Leicester keeper Mark Schwarzer fumbled Sinclair’s strike over the line a minute from time.