Tim Sherwood has not been hesitant to lambaste his players this season when he feels that they have let him down. After Tottenham's limp 2-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park, it may have been expected that he would serve up another round of criticism, but it was not to be.
Rather, a mellow Sherwood described the flinching of Emmanuel Adebayor and Paulinho for West Ham's second goal in simple terms during his post-match press conference.
"It wasn't good."
He was circumspect, saying, "They don't need me to point out the error" before drawing a line under the incident, adding, "I've had a word with them. ... 2-0 hurts much more than a ball in the stomach."
The Tottenham boss lamented Younes Kaboul's 24th-minute red card, which "changed the game," but refused to criticise referee Phil Dowd, describing the dismissal as the "right" decision.
"After that you've got a mountain to climb."
Instead, Sherwood reserved his strongest words for critics of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. He described the French captain as "top-drawer" before turning on those who had suggested he was below his best.
"When he got that bump on the head at Everton, people said he wasn't the same goalkeeper, that's a load of crap."
He was effusive in his praise for Lloris' performance, acknowledging that he had come to Spurs' rescue yet again.
Turning his attention to next week's final match of the season against Aston Villa at White Hart Lane, Sherwood suggested his players would "turn it on" for the fans.
"The players owe it to [them], to send them away with some optimism for next season. Our aim is to entertain and win the game."
Victory would leave Tottenham three points short of a record Premier League points tally and, in all likelihood, finish his time as Spurs boss on a high.
All quotations obtained firsthand.
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