Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood admitted that some of his own family and friends believed the rumours suggesting he was involved in a dressing room brawl with one of his players after their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on March 30.
Twitter and other social media platforms were swirling with rumours that Sherwood had been involved in an altercation with one of his team in a lengthy dressing room discussion that followed the disappointing defeat at Anfield.
Spurs winger Aaron Lennon was among those who dismissed the claims, yet Sherwood’s feisty reputation may have inspired some of his closest colleagues and relatives to question his actions at Anfield.
“I was getting family and friends texting me saying: ‘Why did you do it?’,” he said with a smile. “They didn’t say: ‘Did you?’ It was all ‘Who did you hit, who did you hit?’
“The players know I want the best for the club and that helps them out because it means I want the best for them. I am not going to suffer fools though. That is the way I manage.”
Sherwood went on to insist he had no regrets over his decision to go public in his criticism of his players in recent weeks. He also suggested his comments were comparable to those made by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho following his side’s recent defeats against Crystal Palace and Paris Saint-Germain.
“I didn’t have any hidden agenda regarding [the criticism],” he continued. “I just felt they needed to be accountable. If Mourinho does it now, it’s right. If I do it, it’s wrong because I’m inexperienced and Mourinho’s the best manager we’ve ever seen, supposedly.
“Whatever decisions you make in this game only stand up if you win. If Mourinho doesn’t go on to win anything at Chelsea then he’s going to be wrong for saying what he said.
“It’s just one stage at a time and I’ve got six cup finals between now and the end of the season, and it’s really important to me that we show the fans something to make them optimistic about next season.”
Sherwood has demanded a response from his players as they return to action for the first time since their Anfield defeat in a home game against Sunderland on Monday.
“I am realistic to know it’s Tottenham, you are under the spotlight no matter what you do,” he stated. “You’ve got a rookie manager coming in here, who won the first eight games or whatever it was and everyone thinks it’s easy.
“I was realistic, I knew there was going to be some downs. It was a case of just cracking on, but whatever decisions I make are my decisions. If I’m going to go down, I’ll go down my way.”
Sherwood went on to address his decision to watch the Liverpool game from the stands, a move that inspired some Spurs supporters to chant ‘where is our manager?’, as he was not seen on the touchline at Anfield.
“You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t [stand on the touchline],” he added. “If [Chelsea boss Jose] Mourinho sits up there [in the stands] he’s fine. Nigel Pearson at Leicester has sat up there all season and they’ve been promoted to the Premier League.
“I’ll be on the touchline on Monday and I’ll be knocking out as many people as I can. I’ve had a lot of time to prepare this week."