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Aston Villa aren't safe from drop yet, claims Tom Cleverley

Tottenham 0-1 Aston Villa

Published 13/04/2015

Hot form: Christian Benteke celebrates his winner for Villa
Hot form: Christian Benteke celebrates his winner for Villa

Tom Cleverley thinks Tim Sherwood has given the Aston Villa players belief they can survive but insists they are not safe yet - despite Saturday's win at Tottenham.

Christian Benteke's first-half header gave Sherwood's side a deserved 1-0 victory on his return to White Hart Lane, with the late sending off of Carlos Sanchez and knocks to Ciaran Clark and Gabriel Agbonlahor the only concerns for the visitors.

The win moved Villa six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone but, using local rivals West Brom as an example after Tony Pulis' men suffered back-to-back home defeats to QPR and Leicester, Cleverley knows Villa are not secure just yet.

"We're definitely not safe," he said. "Just look at West Brom. They looked safe a couple of weeks ago and they've been dragged right back in.

"We won't be taking our foot off the gas. We feel really positive If you'd said we'd pick up four points at the start of the week, we would have taken it.

"The gaffer has given us belief. He has put a bounce into people's strides again."

Since Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert in February, no player has scored more goals in the Premier League than Benteke as the Belgium international added to his midweek hat-trick in the draw with QPR with the winner at Spurs.

Sherwood has encouraged his players to feed his front players early and Cleverley believes the 24-year-old is in great form.

"He's on fire, full credit to him," the Manchester United loaned added. "The goal came from switching the player to our full-back and the big man finished brilliantly."

Sherwood was returning to White Hart Lane for the first time since losing his job at the end of last season.

Mauricio Pochettino, his replacement as Spurs boss, conceded this defeat has all but ended his side's chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Belfast Telegraph

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