Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has two games to save himself from the sack, according to reports on Sunday.
Sherwood is fighting to save his job with owner Randy Lerner, who is still believed to be willing to sell the club, becoming increasingly concerned about the prospect of relegation which would result in the loss of the club’s share of the huge £5bn TV deal.
Sherwood, 46, met with chief executive Tom Fox on Tuesday at Bodymoor Heath to discuss recent results and the board made it clear to the former Spurs manager that the squad should be performing better after such a substantial overhaul in the summer.
Villa, who are in 18th place, spent in excess of £50million in the summer on 12 new signings, but Sherwood has guided them to just one Premier League win – the opening-day win at Bournemouth – and they look like facing another battle to beat the drop.
After losing Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph in the summer Sherwood might have expected to get some sympathy and time from the board, but it’s believed Lerner, who showed remarkable patience with previous incumbent Paul Lambert, is ready to wield the axe if Villa fail to beat either Chelsea and Swansea in their next two games.
Sherwood will point to the fact that just £7million net has been spent and that he wanted to sign proven Premier League players such as Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor rather than opting for younger players from abroad with sell-on potential.
Head of recruitment Paddy Reilly and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt are believed to have driven the summer transfer philosophy which saw the likes of Jordan Amavi, 21, and Adama Traore, 19, arrive at Villa Park.
Rodgers ready and able?
Sherwood though has not been able to get the best out of the new boys and has lost six of the last seven Premier League games and according to the Mirror sacked Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is being lined up as Sherwood’s potential replacement.
Sherwood was “devastated” after last month’s collapse against Leicester and he claimed things were “getting worse” after the recent 1-0 home defeat by Stoke.
“The situation is getting worse, it is alright saying ifs, buts and maybes, but we are not picking up the wins and that is why we are down near the bottom of the league.
“We are all in this together but as the manager I take all the responsibility.” said Sherwood.
“I will use the international break to get my players fitter because they are not fit enough yet to play the way I want them to play. For some of them it will be like a mini pre-season.”
Sherwood has also had to deal with reports of Villa’s line-up being leaked, but he has insisted he will try an maintain his attacking philosophy.
“I like to try to win enough games rather than going out there not to be beaten.
“I’ve done that a few times and you end up getting beaten anyway so I’d rather go to win, but I need to find a team of players who can go to places like Stamford Bridge and not be scared, put up a fight and be brave on the pitch.
“The games are ticking off and we need to start winning,” added Sherwood.
Sherwood is set to make changes as Villa face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next Saturday before hosting Swansea at Villa Park the following weekend as they look to climb away from the foot of the table.