Tim Sherwood says he is proud and honoured to be the new head coach of Tottenham.
Spurs took the surprise decision to appoint Sherwood as Andre Villas-Boas' successor on Monday. The 44-year-old has no experience of first-team management, but he was selected ahead of the likes of Louis Van Gaal, Fabio Capello and Frank De Boer, who had all been linked with the position.
Sherwood played for Tottenham for four years and he has been part of the coaching set-up since 2008 though, so there is no doubt that the club is very close to his heart. He hopes his connection with Tottenham will help him navigate the difficult waters that lie ahead.
Speaking for the first time since he signed an 18-month contract with the club, Sherwood told Spurs TV: "It's an honour to be head coach of this top club. It's a club that means an awful lot to me and a proud moment. If you cut me in half, I bleed the colour of the club. It means an awful lot to me. Blood is thicker than water, as they say.
"I've known it from the grass roots right up to the first team, worked at every level of the football club and played here, so I know it better than most. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead taking this club forward as head coach.''
Sherwood was handed the role of interim manager following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas last week. The former England and Blackburn midfielder started off with a defeat to West Ham in the Capital One Cup, but four days later Tottenham beat Southampton 3-2. The Londoners played some of their most attacking football of the season as they came from behind to win at St Mary's.
That performance, and the commitment to playing attacking football, pleased chairman Daniel Levy, and the chairman believes Sherwood's confident approach will give the players the push they need to finish in the top four this season. Indeed, the new man at the helm certainly has complete faith in the expensively-assembled squad at his disposal.
"We have good players here and if we apply ourselves well, get the players playing as they can and get the right players on the ball in the correct areas, then we can hurt any team we play against,'' said Sherwood, whose first game as full manager comes on Boxing Day against West Brom.
Some have questioned the wisdom of appointing Sherwood, but the man who brought him onto the coaching staff at White Hart Lane -- Harry Redknapp -- is sure Levy has done the right thing.
"I thought Tottenham were absolute certainties to finish above Arsenal at the start of the season,'' Redknapp told talkSPORT. "Then Arsenal lost their first game of the season, but they have done fantastic since then. But they are only six points above Tottenham. That's nothing. That can be wiped out in a week, so Tottenham are still bang in there.
"They have a good squad. I think Tim will get the best out of them. I wouldn't write Tottenham off for a top-four position, they have got as good a chance as the seven teams that will be scrapping it out until the end of the season."