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Holtby backing for Sherwood

Lewis Holtby has told Tim Sherwood's critics they must give the new Tottenham manager time.

Last Updated: 27/12/13 at 22:40 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Tim Sherwood: Backed by Lewis Holtby

Tim Sherwood: Backed by Lewis Holtby

Tottenham took a gamble on Monday when they handed Sherwood an 18-month contract to succeed Andre Villas-Boas as head coach.

The former Blackburn captain could not deliver a win in his first game in charge, though, as Tottenham had to settle for an underwhelming point against relegation-threatened West Brom.

Spurs were far more attacking than they were under Villas-Boas, but they could not find a way through the West Brom defence and they also looked vulnerable at the back.

A smattering of boos rang out following the final whistle, but Holtby thinks it would be wrong to expect too much too soon from Sherwood.

"We need to give him some time," the Tottenham midfielder said.

"It's not easy coming into a club when you have a hectic Christmas period.

"You don't have much time to train, but credit to him - he has calmed things down."

Sherwood looked anything but calm on Boxing Day.

He spent the majority of the 1-1 draw on his feet shouting and gesticulating towards his players in an animated fashion from the touchline.

Sherwood's enthusiasm for the game and for Tottenham are commendable, though, as is his commitment to attacking football.

Spurs' build-up play was often laboured under Villas-Boas and he failed to get the best out of his strikeforce this year.

But while results, and not style will determine whether Sherwood is a success, Holtby is a big fan of the former Tottenham midfielder's philosophy, and he also thinks his history with the club will help him.

"He knows the club inside out," Holtby said.

"He has been here as a player and manager for the (development) team.

"He knows the club, his style of play is a very good idea, he likes to play attacking football.

"We have the team capable of doing this, its just a matter of time adapting to that now.

"The things he has tried to bring to us, they are really working."

Sherwood is also committed to bringing through some of the young players he managed in the club's successful development team.

The new manager gave 19-year-old Nabil Bentaleb his debut against Southampton, putting the midfielder on to replace Mousa Dembele with 40 minutes left.

Holtby, a full Germany international, remained on the bench and did not feature at St Mary's.

Holtby returned to the starting XI for the West Brom game, though, and he sees no reason to complain.

"I am a footballer, I love to play football and I am always a bit shocked if I don't play because I love this game, but you have to give credit to Nabil because he is a fantastic young player," Holtby said.

"The gaffer knows him so there is no need for me to get angry in situations like now because we are trying to chase European football.

"The gaffer is new in and he is trying to put his thinking into the team and we have to stick behind that.

"(Tim and I) spoke after the (Southampton) game, but I am not going to tell you all the details. He played me against West Brom."

Sherwood's predecessor, meanwhile, lamented his failure to repeat the success he enjoyed at Porto, where he won three trophies during his first and only season in charge.

"I wish I could have responded to the confidence shown by the fans with a trophy", Villas-Boas told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.

"I had great ambitions to win a trophy this season."

With his reputation in England having taken a big hit, Villas-Boas looks set to be planning a return to the management on the continent.

The 36-year-old was not short of offers last summer. He rejected overtures from Paris Saint-Germain while Real Madrid were also said to be interested in his services. He has recently been linked with AC Milan.

In the interview he refers to his time in England in the past tense, and talks of "re-positioning" his career, suggesting that he will not be looking for a new post in the Barclays Premier League any time soon.

"This is a time of reflection for me and my staff, and for repositioning of our careers," he said.

"Nevertheless, England was a great experience."

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