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Sherwood hopes to learn from thrashing

Spurs boss Tim Sherwood will not make reference to the club's embarrassing defeat at Man City earlier this season ahead of Wednesday's return fixture.

Tim Sherwood was forced to defend his new tactical approach after Spurs were overrun at Arsenal.
Man City will provide a serious examination of Tim Sherwood's progress at Spurs.

Palmer: Sherwood interview

Sherwood has watched a re-run of the November defeat that was the catalyst for the poor run which led to Andre Villas-Boas’ exit, but he does not see the result as a motivational tool as City head to White Hart Lane.

"It will be on their minds, they have got professional pride, but I won’t talk about it," said Sherwood when asked about the 6-0 hammering. "It might scare them [if we bring it up]. They need to use that [as motivation] for themselves.

"I watched that game recently, just to see some of the strengths and weaknesses. Early in the game, there were some weaknesses from us, but they got the early freak goal and we didn’t stem the flow. We cannot afford a capitulation like it was at the Etihad.

"I always feel games boil down to individual errors, decision-making. It’s all about winning out personal battles out there. If we win more personal battles than them, then you generally win the game."

Sherwood admitted the clash with Manuel Pellegrini’s title favourites could be a defining moment in his side’s season, as they look to record a victory against one of the top sides in the Premier League after defeats against Arsenal, Liverpool and City.

"Anyone who finishes above Manchester City this season will win the league so this is huge for us," he continued. "If we walk away with three points, the belief will rise and it will prove we can compete.

"It’s one thing saying we can compete, but another going out there and doing it. I trust those boys to give us a positive performance and result, so let’s prove we can do it and not just talk about it."

Sherwood believes there are comparison between the free-flowing style City have displayed this season and the title winning Blackburn side he captained in 1995, but he insisted there will be holes in their plan.

"It has proved to be difficult to stop them, especially over the last couple of months," he said. "If you try and stop one, someone else pops up. You have to be concentrated and defend well at all times, but I think we also have to look and see if there are things we can try to do to affect them.

"There will be weaknesses in their play and we have to try and expose them. They can score at will this side and we have to try and stop them.

"You look at [Alvaro] Negredo recently, he has been fantastic, but he can’t score on his own. [Jesus] Navas, [David] Silva, [Sergio] Aguero... they have got no end of talent. Their biggest strength is when they attack, so let’s hope we can try and make them defend as much as possible.

"They play a nice brand of football, good to watch and they pretty much guarantee you goals, but we are hoping the goals will be at our end tomorrow."

Sherwood went on to praise the performances of revitalised striker Emmanuel Adebayor, but insisted his motivation level will not rise simply because he is playing against his former club.

"He will be up for this game as he has been up for every game," he added. "There is no small or big games for Ade at the moment, he is up for every match. He is one of the top strikers in the Premier League in my opinion and it’s important that we keep giving him the service. He relies on the other players as well and we rely on him.

"He’ll be crucial to us to get where we want to be. I don’t think he is a natural goalscorer, but in all round play, he can be unplayable. On his day he can be formidable and long may that continue because at the moment, he is proving to be very hard to mark."

Winger Andros Townsend will miss the City game as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury and Erik Lamela is also out with an injury, but every other member of Sherwood’s squad is fit and available.

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