Belfast Telegraph

Sherwood tough on training

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has demanded longer training sessions from his new-look squad this season.

Sherwood, who oversaw Villa's opening-day 1-0 victory at newly-promoted Bournemouth on Saturday, has added nine new faces to his side this season.

Six of those were unleashed at a sun-blazed Dean Court on Saturday with Rudy Gestede, a £6million arrival from Blackburn, coming off the bench to score the winner.

"It is going to take a lot of gelling for those players," Sherwood said.

"We are at the training ground at nine and we leave at three, but I am going to make no apologies for getting the boys in at that time because they need to be able to gel as quickly as possible.

"The positive is that we have come through 90 minutes. They are going to be fitter. We got a victory so the confidence is going to be there, and a clean sheet - we didn't have many of them last year - so I am delighted."

Bournemouth enjoyed more shots, more possession and more corners than their established opponents on their Barclays Premier League bow.

But Eddie Howe's side were left to rue three missed chances in the closing 10 minutes of an opening half which they dominated.

And Sherwood, whose side host Manchester United on Friday night, revealed he gave his players a stern talking to at the interval.

"We were quite happy nullifying and dampening down the atmosphere in the first period, but I think we got away with it because the last 10 minutes of the first half they didn't stick to the plan," he added.

"I said to them 'if the plan needs to be changed I will change it from the side - I want you to stick with what I am telling you'.

"We tweaked it a little bit and we said we were going to be more adventurous, braver on the ball, receiving it in dangerous areas, open up the pitch, change it from side-to-side, make Bournemouth work, make more forward runs, occupy defenders and free some people up, and that is exactly what we did."

Sherwood added: "This is still a young side. If you look at the group we brought in they are very young and still developing.

"We hope that we can develop them and have a good season in the Premier League. Then we have ticked two boxes and everyone is very happy because we have bought a club for the future not just for this year."


From Belfast Telegraph