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 By PA Sport

Tim Sherwood: Aston Villa's Fabian Delph best midfielder after Everton win

Tim Sherwood hailed his Aston Villa heroes and insisted Fabian Delph is the best midfielder in the country after Saturday's 3-2 Premier League victory against Everton.

Christian Benteke improved his record to 11 goals in nine games as Villa maintained their two-point gap above the Premier League drop zone with a narrow win over the Toffees.

The striker's first-half brace gave them a deserved lead and Tom Cleverley added a third after Romelu Lukaku's penalty gave Everton hope.

England boss Roy Hodgson watched Villa's win and Sherwood believes Delph would have impressed, saying: "I just think there were some heroic performances out there. I thought Fabian Delph showed why he's probably, in my opinion, the best midfield player in the country at the moment.

"I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the mess we're in. If you're an Aston Villa fan, you're loving him.

"He leaves nothing on the field. It's not only about energy and desire, it's about flair and imagination, he's got the whole package.

"He's a warrior, there isn't a lot he can't do. I see Roy Hodgson was up there, I think he would have been very impressed with the two midfield players, Cleverley as well."

Christian Benteke scored a brace to boost Villa's survival prospects.

Sunderland's 2-1 win over Southampton kept the pressure on Sherwood's side, but he believes they have momentum after climbing to 14th in the table.

"I think there's a bit of belief in there now," he continued. "I think they've improved performance-wise since I came here and they're looking like a Tim Sherwood side at the moment.

"What's that? It wins! I think we've got pace, flair, goalscorers -- we do score goals.

"We've got a lot of pace, we move the ball wide, we have players in the middle of the park who can tackle, break the ball up and they've got flair, so we've got a nice mixture. But there's an awful lot of hard work to be done, three more wins and we'll get over the line."

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