Sherwood eyes winning start to Spurs reign in Hammers cup tie

Frank Dalleres
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INTERIM Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes West Ham’s relegation battle can help his team get his reign off to a winning start tonight.

Sherwood, placed in temporary charge following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas on Monday, leads Spurs into a Capital One Cup quarter-final against a Hammers side who have slipped to 17th in the Premier League.

“Hopefully they’ve got their concentration on Premier League safety rather than the cup,” said Sherwood.

“When you lose your manager it’s a change and you’ve got to listen to a different voice, but I’m hoping to get a few messages across in a short space of time so we can get a positive result.”

The Hammers enjoyed the highlight of a troubled campaign when they beat Spurs 3-0 at White Hart Lane in October, but boss Sam Allardyce believes the north Londoners could prove tougher opponents in adversity.

“Whatever the situation at Spurs, they have an excellent squad,” he said. “We had the game of the season against them last time. That doesn’t mean to say it’s going to be any easier now there’s been a change – it may be more difficult.”

Allardyce, himself under pressure, said Villas-Boas paid the price for unrealistic expectations. He added: “The perception of where you should be compared to reality is always that little bit greater at every football club.”