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Spurs' Sherwood lauds 'massive' victory

Updated: 2014-03-25 07:23
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)

Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood praised his team's resilience after it rebounded from a 0-2 deficit to beat Southampton 3-2 in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Spurs made a terrible start in front of their home crowd at White Hart Lane as the Saints grabbed the lead inside half an hour thanks to goals from England internationals Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana.

But the north London side, without a win in four matches, drew even thanks to goals either side of the break from Christian Eriksen.

And just when it seemed a draw was assured, substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson's 20-yard shot in stoppage time saw Tottenham secure a victory that had Sherwood sprinting down the touchline in celebration.

"It was a massive, massive win for us," Sherwood said. "We know we have a tough period ahead.

"On paper, they look easier after the Liverpool one, but they are the harder ones.

"When people come here with expectancy, let me tell you, it is harder to come from 2-0 down at home than 2-0 away from home. Unless you have played the game, you won't understand.

"There is an expectancy but it takes real guts, character and spirit to do that and we showed that today. Brilliant."

Eriksen revealed afterwards the Spurs were inspired by a stern half-time speech from their boss, which prompted Sherwood to say: "I can't tell you everything - but it wasn't pretty.

"It wasn't ranting and raving, it was considered and it was measured what I had to say to them. I wanted to play a high-tempo game and press them high up the field, and I didn't think we had the energy to do it.

"It was quite evident and I think the European midweek games (Spurs were knocked out of the Europa League despite a creditable draw away to Benfica in the second leg of a last-16 tie in Lisbon) take their toll.

"We always seem to finish very well but we don't start the games very well.

"Against a good side like Southampton, you are going to get punished, and at 2-0 down after 28 minutes I was dreading coming to the press conference, chaps, I have to tell you."

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame his side for giving up the two-goal lead, preferring instead to criticize the performance of referee Anthony Taylor and his linesmen.

"It was not that we started well, I thought we had a very good game overall," the Argentine said.

"We were 2-0 up and in control, especially in the first half.

"Their first goal came from a clear foul on Dejan Lovren, so that should not have been allowed to stand.

"Then came the equalizer, an injury to Nathaniel Clyne as well, and it was a heavy punishment for the way that we played.

"I thought we deserved more, but there were some refereeing decisions that did not go our way. Despite that, I thought we did very well against a very good Tottenham side."

(China Daily 03/25/2014 page24)