Sherwood backs Soldado to come good

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Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood believes Roberto Soldado will go from strength to strength after the Spanish striker scored only his second goal from open play in the Premier League. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

London – Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood believes Roberto Soldado will go from strength to strength after the Spanish striker scored only his second goal from open play in the Premier League in the 1-0 win over Cardiff.

Soldado's goal on Sunday, which kept the London side in the hunt for a Champions League place, was also his first in nine games.

“I was delighted for Robbie and you saw by the way the rest of the lads celebrated with him how much it means,” Sherwood said of Soldado who moved to Tottenham from Valencia in a £26 million (31.5m euros) transfer in June.

“He's a great character around the place. The boys love him as I do and if I could have picked anyone to score that winning goal it would have been him.

“You look at Robbie's history and while he has not done it in the Premier League, he has done it in a top league in Spain. And you know what he is capable of.

“But if he wasn't showing any desire in training and any real belief he could turn it around, then I would have left him out. But he has not given me any reason to leave him out. I have stuck by him and I believed he would come good and I still maintain that.”

Tottenham remain in fifth place, four points behind Manchester City who have played two fewer games, but Sherwood insisted his side's hopes for a place in next season's Champions League are still alive.

“We are looking upwards. We know we are not only chasing teams above us, there are also teams chasing us behind. “All we can do is look after ourselves.”

Cardiff stayed in the bottom three after a week in which Malaysian club owner Vincent Tan reiterated his threat to sell-up if supporters kept criticising his regime.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Cardiff manager, insisted now was a time for unity and revealed Tan had addressed the players at the team hotel on the eve of the game at White Hart Lane.

“It was the first time he's done that since I've been here so I think it was a good time and you could see the effect on the players last night as well,” Solskjaer said.

“They were pleased he came. This run-in needs every single one of us that has a Bluebird heart, a Cardiff heart,” the former Manchester United and Norway striker explained.

“Everyone from the fans, through to the players. Everyone who works in the canteen and the laundry up to Mr Tan. Of course we have to stick together.”

Meanwhile, Sherwood confirmed Kyle Walker and Christian Eriksen would both miss the international friendly between England and Denmark at Wembley this Wednesday.

Both players were absent from Sunday's game with Walker ruled out of the England squad with a hip problem while Eriksen will be missing from the Denmark set-up with a back injury.

“Kyle was not fit to play here today and he won't be fit to play for England,” said Sherwood. “But the good news for England is Christian Eriksen won't be fit for Denmark as well.”

Walker, though, may still join up with England manager Roy Hodgson's squad who are due to train at Spurs' training ground ahead of the game.

Sherwood added: “He'll probably link up. I know Roy Hodgson very well so will speak to him. They are training at our training ground so he will be there having treatment but he won't be fit to play.” – Sapa-AFP


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