Sherwood backs his ‘underdogs’

Date published: Thursday 28th May 2015 2:54

Villa were hammered 5-0 at the Emirates in February and Arsene Wenger’s side ran out 3-0 winners at Villa Park early in the campaign, but both defeats were before Sherwood took over from former boss Paul Lambert. 

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Wembley clash with Arsenal, Sherwood said: “It’s a one-off game and form goes out the window, we know that we are the underdogs, we know that Arsenal have been there and done that.

“They are the holders of the trophy and it is going to be very difficult for us but we are not just there to make the numbers up, but to give them a good game.”

Sherwood is hoping the 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool at Wembley will help his team cope with the big-game atmosphere on Saturday. 

He added: “The boys performed on a big stage against Liverpool and we thoroughly deserved to win that game and we are hoping we can do the same against Arsenal.”

Sherwood has not announced his starting line-up but says the players already have an idea of who will be playing after running through team shape and formation in training.

He added: “They pretty much know – we have done shape in training but there may be a few changes to be made and we swapped a few bibs.

“The core of it is there but there are still places up for grabs and we have another day of training, but with our track record we will probably lose a couple with injuries.

“It’s hard but as a manager it’s your job and you have to pick the team and do a job for the club, it’s nothing personal it’s just about trying to win that game.”

Sherwood also revealed that goalkeeper Shay Given is winning his fitness fight to be ready for the FA Cup final and that Kieran Richardson (calf), Aly Cissokho (groin) and Jores Okore (knee) are back in training.

He said on Thursday: “Shay trained today so we’re hopeful he’ll be alright. But the nature of this club is you can’t hold your breath.

“I’ve not yet made my decision on the goalkeeper. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you then.

“Kieran trained today, Cissokho is fit and Okore trained for the first time today.

“If everyone’s fit we could play the same team as the semi-finals.”

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