|Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross (left) blocks a volley from Tottenham Hotspur’s Emmanuel Adebayor with his hands to give away a penalty at White Hart Lane, London, Sunday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
LONDON (AFP) ― Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has vowed to continue his attacking philosophy against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Sherwood tasted victory for the first time as the permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas when Stoke were beaten 3-0 in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Roberto Soldado’s 37th minute penalty, awarded when Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross blocked an acrobatic effort from Emmanuel Adebayor with raised arms, gave Tottenham a deserved first-half lead.
And victory was assured via two goals in four minutes after the break when Mousa Dembele and then Aaron Lennon found the net with well-struck efforts.
Sherwood, who also led Spurs to victory in one of two games as caretaker manager, discarded Villas-Boas’s cautious formation that used just one forward and brought back Togo striker Adebayor, who had been largely ignored under the previous regime, as part of a two-man attack.
United have won their last six games in all competitions but Sherwood made it clear he would not go to Manchester on New Year’s Day merely to defend in the hope of stealing a draw.
“I like to play with risk,” he said. “We will give them respect but also we can’t be lambs to the slaughter. We have to make sure we get out there and impose ourselves on them as much as we can.
“United have turned it around, they are on a run. We know from history what they do when they are on a run.
“They get a head of steam and are very hard to stop. We have got to find a way to stop them in their tracks and get something positive for ourselves.
“There won’t be any fear. We won there last year, so we have already been there and imposed ourselves on Man United and hopefully the players can use that experience to go forward.”
Stoke managed to land just one shot on target all game ― a tame header from former Spur Peter Crouch near the end ― but might have had a penalty at 0-0 when Michael Dawson appeared to bring down Oussama Assaidi.
Manager Mark Hughes was convinced an even earlier decision had also not gone his side’s way, when last man Zeki Fryers upended Jon Walters as the Stoke man bore down on goal.
“You need those things to go for you, certainly in the early part of the game, and if we had got into the lead it would have given us real encouragement, and who knows?” Hughes said.
“But if I’m honest, we found it difficult getting anywhere near them.”
The Potters entertain Everton on Jan. 1 and Hughes will be able to recall Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson, who were banned for the Spurs game following red cards in the 5-1 defeat at Newcastle on Boxing Day that also saw the Stoke manager sent to the stands.