Tim Sherwood was pleased with Tottenham’s performance against Benfica in the Europa League when they so nearly pulled off a famous victory but had to settle for a draw as a late penalty presented the home side with the opportunity to equalise with the last kick of the night.
With an under-strength team in Portugal due to injuries and suspension, Tim Sherwood had words of praise for all of his players. Speaking to the club’s Twitter forum, @SpursOfficial, the manager said,
The performance was magnificent. Once we scored, we created chances and had them where we wanted them. We’re gutted to go out.
Reflecting on the tie over the two legs, Sherwood said,
We didn’t do ourselves justice at home but we’re disappointed we didn’t do the ultimate and turn it around, that says everything.
Throughout the game, the 3000 travelling Tottenham fans could be heard singing in support of their team and Sherwood acknowledged the importance of their backing for the players. He told @SpursOfficial,
Tim: "We had a great following here looking for a response and they got it. They sung their hearts out. We’re grateful for their support."
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 20, 2014
Again speaking of the support in an interview on the club web-site, Sherwood said,
The following we had here tonight, they travelled a long way looking for a response and they got that.
The manager commented,
We had a game plan and even when they scored, we didn’t divert from it. We stuck to it and once we scored, we had them where we wanted them. We were creating chances and we’re just gutted we’ve come away and we’re not still in the competition.
Speaking in the post-match interview referring to his critical comments directed at the players over the past weeks, BBC Sport reported Sherwood saying,
It’s evident the players are on my side. My little rant has done them no harm, they have showed character and guts and they need to do that until the end of the season and I’m confident they will do that.
On the outcome of the match, the manager commented,
We came here without a recognised centre-back, kept it nice and solid, we conceded a soft goal, but we bounced back. Nothing changed, we still needed to score three goals and I think we were very unfortunate not to score three goals. We had them where we wanted them. They were running scared.
He thought that Harry Kane should have had a penalty, goal.com reporting the manager’s thoughts on the incident,
Harry got touched in the back, he’s entitled to go down.
@HotspurRelated tweeted the manager’s philosophical view of the incident,
Sherwood (Penalty): "Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't and at the moment we're not getting them." #THFC
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) March 20, 2014
Having sat in the stand throughout the game, Sherwood was unable to resist taking a swipe at the opposition manager, Jorge Jesus, saying,
It was good to see their manager sweating as much as he did. I didn’t see a suave character, he looked really flustered. It was worth the entrance fee to see that.