'Van Gaal destined for Premier League'
Tim Sherwood says Louis van Gaal is "obviously destined" to manage in England after the Netherlands coach again made a play for a Premier League job.
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The Dutchman is expected by many to replace Tottenham head coach Sherwood after the World Cup, but he is also believed to be taking a keen interest in developments at Manchester united.
Van Gaal has repeatedly stated that his ambition is to manage a top Premier League team but Sherwood was defiant the move would not come at his expense.
"He is obviously destined to manage in England," Sherwood said at a prematch news conference before the Europa League game against Benfica. "He has got a good track record, he is a good manager and I'm sure he'll get his opportunity: he's been shouting loud enough for it."
The former midfielder appeared more confident than ever that his job is safe. "I believe I'll be here next year," he said. "I'm planning for next season. These players are playing for their futures here and I want to be part of this club moving forward."
Sherwood has previously said he did not expect to remain in charge at Spurs if he failed to live up to the club's lofty ambitions for this season.
His side's hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League have all-but gone and, as they face Benfica on Thursday needing to overturn a 3-1 first-leg Europa League deficit, he cannot claim to be talking from a position of strength.
A hat trick of defeats against Chelsea, Benfica and Arsenal have put a huge dent in Tottenham's hopes of success in two competitions, with their ambitions to pull off an unlikely revival as they travel to Portugal hit by an injury and suspension crisis.
Sherwood will become the first Spurs manager since David Pleat in 2004 to lose four games in a row if Tottenham lose on Thursday and they take on the Portuguese side without Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches, Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker.
Jan Vertonghen's suspension has compounded the selection problems for the Spurs coaching staff and Sherwood has had to turn to the club's youth team to bolster his squad.
Midfielder Joshua Onomah, 16, and Scotland under-21s goalkeeper Jordan Archer have made the trip but the head coach hopes he will not have to call on them.
"Some of these boys are apprentices," Sherwood said. "These boys are young kids, nowhere near ready to play in Tottenham's first team, but it's needs must. They are next in line to play. We have got a crippling injury list back at home. It really is severe and we're having to bring these boys."