Tim Sherwood: Premier League safety more important than FA Cup
Last Updated: 25/04/15 8:36pm
Tim Sherwood insists Aston Villa's top priority is securing their Premier League status, despite reaching their first FA Cup final in 15 years.
Sherwood has revived Villa's fortunes this season after a disappointing start to the campaign under his predecessor Paul Lambert had threatened the club’s league status.
Victories over his former club Spurs in the league and Liverpool last weekend in the FA Cup semi-finals have seen Villa take a step closer to safety as well as moving to within touching distance of a first piece of silverware since 1996.
However, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports’ football expert and former team-mate Jamie Redknapp, Sherwood maintained his No 1 objective was to keep Villa in the top flight, although he believes his side are capable of staying up and winning the FA Cup as well.
Speaking ahead of Aston Villa’s clash with Manchester City on Saturday Night Football, Sherwood said: "We're one million per cent focused on staying in the Premier League.
"At this stage, (it's) probably easier to win the FA Cup than it would be to stay in the Premier League and it’s more important for the club to stay in the Premier League.
"I’m not saying we don’t value the FA Cup, of course we do, this is a club with big history and expectation and we want to (do) both. We think we’re capable of doing both but it’s paramount that we stay in this league.
I would take Premier League survival if I had to choose between that and winning the FA Cup, without a doubt.
"I would take Premier League survival if I had to choose between that and winning the FA Cup, without a doubt.
"If this great club were to end up in the Championship, it would be devastating. For me personally, I was brought (in) to keep this club in the league so that would be my achievement."
Having taken charge of Tottenham and Aston Villa midway through seasons, Sherwood says both of his managerial positions to date have come in adversity.
Should Sherwood guide Villa to safety, he would then have the ‘luxurious’ task of a pre-season, something he feels he needs to experience before anybody can cast a judgement over the job he is doing at Villa Park.
“There are different cultures coming into the game now in the Premier League and I think it’s really important that managers get the most out of the group they’ve got,” he added.
“Especially in the situation I’ve been in with both of my jobs where I inherited a group of players at Spurs and now at Aston Villa.
“I haven’t had the luxury of a pre-season yet, I haven’t had the luxury of having a transfer window where I can bring in some players of my own. Both of my opportunities have come in adversity.
“My job now is to get the team over line and stay in the Premier League, then I’ll have a real chance. People can really judge me then.”
Watch the exclusive extended interview with Tim Sherwood above, then watch Manchester City v Aston Villa on Saturday Night Football, 4:45pm, Sky Sports 1 HD.