Aston Villa have had a torrid season to date and it was hardly a surprise to see Paul Lambert sacked last week. Can his replacement keep the Villans in the top flight?
If anyone can keep Aston Villa in the Premier League, Tim Sherwood can. The new manager took the reins at the West Midlands club at the weekend and watched the action from the stand as the Villans knocked Leicester City out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory.
Nevertheless, survival in the top flight will be the main priority for the new gaffer and the 46-year-old has stated that he wants his new charges to “throw a few punches” as they look to climb out of the bottom three.
“I was only looking from the outside but they have looked a little bit tentative,” Sherwood stated to reporters. “I think they need to play on the front foot a little bit more.
“You are going to win games, you are going to lose games between now and the end of the season, but let’s have a go fighting and start throwing a few punches ourselves. When I came here as a player ( to Villa Park ) it was a difficult place to come and get results.
“I want to turn this place back into a fortress again, especially between now and the end of the season.”
Bet365 now offer best odds of 8/15 that Villa escape relegation to the Championship at the end of the season and much will perhaps depend upon how Sherwood’s men respond to the challenge of Stoke City at Villa Park this weekend. Bet365 offer 13/8 for the ex-Spurs manager to get off to a winning start, a Stoke victory up for grabs at 15/8 with BetVictor and a draw 9/4.