When Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood told the media following last Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing to Chelsea that his squad lacked character and guts, many pundits believed the criticism was too harsh.
Leading that charge was former Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle, who told Saturday Night Football that Sherwood needed to disguise his feelings because “it’s a different era now” and Sherwood’s kind of honesty was “something you say in the dressing room to the players.”
On Thursday, Tottenham midfielder Sandro squashed such concerns and backed his manager claiming that Sherwood addressed the team the same way he did the media.
“He said the same thing to us as what he said to the press,” the Brazilian international explained. Moreover, it was the kind of outburst that convinced Sandro of Sherwood’s good intent. “I know the manager is with us and we are with the manager. We need to show a bit more in the next match to tell the manager that we care.”
In fact, Sandro said, this exact notion was contemplated in a fiery meeting held amongst the players after last week’s loss.
“We had a meeting with the players. Sometimes one player got a bit more stressed out and we tried to calm him down and talk in a nice way. We spent about two hours that way. Every player had their fair share to say, put it that way. We all spoke amongst ourselves.
“For me, to be honest, it helped a lot because now I can go and tell another player, and another player can tell me. The manager likes it. Everyone can go for it now, and I think it will help.
“I think that is positive from ourselves and we have to show in the next match that we can do much better. And we will prove that. I am sure we will show much more character in the next matches.”
That character will be necessary if Spurs are to continue their good fortunes in the Europa League. Their two-legged Round of 16 clash with Benfica kicks off today at White Hart Lane and will continue next Thursday in Portugal. On the domestic front, Spurs face Arsenal in a North London derby on Sunday where a victory would take the 5th placed Lillywhites within three points of their 3rd placed rivals.