8:33pm Saturday 8th March 2014
By Chris Hewett
Tim Sherwood said he expected to see more guts and more pride from his players after they capitulated to a 4-0 drubbing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham’s head coach was left “gutted” after the result, which was sealed in five second half minutes in which the Blues scored twice through Samuel Eto’o and Eden Hazard either side of a Younes Kaboul red card.
Demba Ba added two in two minutes late on as the visitors collapsed after being reduced to ten men.
And Sherwood was left angry at the way his team folded after going behind on 55 minutes having matched Chelsea for much of the game.
He said: “We have capitulated too often against the big sides and it’s disappointing to see. It’s difficult – when you’re 2-0 down with ten men at Chelsea you’re not going to win the game but you expect to see a bit more gut, a little bit more pride.
“I don’t want to be the only one who shouts at them – I think they need to dig each other out every now and again and get the best out of each other.
“It’s on to Benfica on the Thursday – we don’t have time to dwell on this now but I’m gutted, massively disappointed, not too much about the result and the performance in the first half but on the capitulation that the team showed and has shown too often this season.”
Sherwood directed his players to the away fans at the final whistle and says the team owes the Tottenham faithful a good performance in Thursday’s Europa League fixture.
But he added that he was pleased with the first half performance from the innovative line-up that featured Kyle Walker on the right wing.
Jan Vertonghen slipped over before inadvertently playing in Eto’o for the first goal as he attempted to salvage a pass back to his goalkeeper before last-man Kaboul bundled over the forward inside the box, allowing Hazard to add a second from the spot.
And Sherwood said he will look at the sending off again before deciding whether or not to appeal.
He said: “I think it was a soft decision because I don’t think it was a penalty. Obviously the sending off comes with it but we’ll have to have a look at it a few more times. It’s a shame the referee doesn’t get that opportunity.
“I appreciate the referee has got a tough job and he’s got to make a call but it could have gone against us that one.”
Michael Dawson limped off at 2-0, leaving Sandro to play the final 20 minutes at centre-back.
And with Vlad Chiriches injured and Kaboul now suspended, Sherwood is lacking defensive options in a crucial upcoming league run that includes fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal.
He said: “We’re struggling in that area (defence) so we’ll just have to have a look and see who’s fit. We’ve got a lot of big games coming up and we’ve got to win them.”
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