Belfast Telegraph

Sherwood impressed by Sinclair

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has urged Scott Sinclair to be the comeback kid after almost being a forgotten man.

The Villa Park chief believes the Manchester City loanee does not want to waste any more of his career.

Sinclair made just three starts in two-and-a-half years for City before joining Villa on loan in January but has scored three goals in his last four games.

Villa go to fellow strugglers Sunderland on Saturday three points above the Barclays Premier League drop zone and Sherwood wants Sinclair to make up for lost time during their survival bid.

Sherwood said: "He wants to play. That is the main ingredient. It sounds mad, I haven't seen too many that don't want to play here but there are players at football clubs who are quite happy not playing.

"It interferes with their social life - but I haven't seen too many of them here.

"He went to Manchester City in good faith and thought he could burst into the team but obviously the manager had other ideas. It was no fault of his own.

"Plenty of other players have done it. He won't be the first or the last.

"They need to think carefully before they move but I'm sure if you asked him if it happened again he would do it.

"Like everything in this game, you can't look back. That's a period of his career he can't get back.

"But what he can do is try to make a difference and make up for it now."

Sinclair scored in the 2-0 FA Cup win over West Brom - where he was on loan last season - last weekend to send Villa into the semi-finals and has also netted against Leicester and Stoke.

Sherwood is keen to keep him at Villa beyond the end of the season and believes the 25-year-old also wants to stay.

He said: "I think he is eager to do that. It is a huge club, he realises that. He obviously wants to play in the Premier League, as we do, so it is something that can be discussed once we are safe - in a couple of weeks!"

Villa's survival effort has been made in Manchester with United loanee Tom Cleverley also impressing under Sherwood following a difficult first half of the season.

Cleverley is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season while Sinclair has little future at City and Sherwood believes Villa are reaping the benefits.

"They realise they are fighting for their futures, whether that be at this club or with someone else," he said.

"Tom Cleverley is a great example of that. I think he has come in for a little bit of criticism but he is getting appreciated now.

"He covers more ground than anyone on the pitch. Him and (Fabian) Delph are like two Hoovers.

"They have ability as well, which is fantastic."

Sinclair could provide the ammunition for Christian Benteke with the striker set to return to the squad after a hip injury.

Alan Hutton and Jack Grealish are suspended while Ron Vlaar and Kieran Richardson (both calf) will be assessed while Aly Cissokho (groin) is a doubt and Philippe Senderos (calf), Nathan Baker (knee) and Joe Cole (hamstring) are out.

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