Belfast Telegraph

Okore hails Sherwood impact

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has united the dressing room and inspired the players, according to defender Jores Okore.

Back-to-back Premier League wins - either side of an FA Cup quarter-final victory - have halted the club's slide towards the relegation zone.

Sherwood's first two matches were the tail-end of a seven-match losing run, itself part of a sequence of 12 games without a win stretching back to early December which ultimately cost Paul Lambert his job.

Although Villa remain just three points above the bottom three, Okore insists the squad believe they will survive.

"He has come in with a positive mind and he has spoken to everyone and got them all on board," he told avfc.co.uk.

"He brought the team together and maximised the strength and potential of the squad.

"He has so much passion. It rubs off on everyone - it has with the fans and the players.

"He's inspiring; that helps to get us on board with his vision. I think that passion will continue.

"He has come in with positive energy and really gone out there and said 'Look guys, I really believe in this and I want you to believe it too. If we do this together, we can achieve the goals we set'.

"He made us believe that strongly. Everyone is on the same page."

Six points from their last two league outings, including a crucial win over fellow strugglers Sunderland last weekend, have turned around confidence within the squad and Okore believes the players are now starting to show the quality they have.

"The mood at Bodymoor Heath (training ground) is electric, everyone is happy and that helps us go out there and really perform and do what we do best," he said.

"We have had some good wins and we want to continue that and really maximise everything that we have got in the group.

"We believe we can stay up. We hadn't really performed well in some games at the start of the season but you can really see the potential of the team right now and how we are playing."

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