Under-pressure boss reckons that Europa League football can help keep a squad fit, rather than tiring them out.
Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood has insisted that it is important for his side to secure their place in next season’s Europa League.
Spurs need to take at least a point from this weekend’s clash with Aston Villa at White Hart Lane to guarantee that Manchester United do not steal sixth place away from them on the final day.
Europa League qualification is seen as a poisoned chalice by many. Liverpool’s domestic form certainly seems to have benefited from not being involved in the continental competition this season.
The Reds, who go into the final day still in with a chance of winning the Premier League title, have only had 43 first-team fixtures to juggle this season – 11 fewer than Spurs, who played 12 Europa League games before being knocked out in the last 16.
Despite the conventional view that the Europa League can tire a squad out, Sherwood reckons that the extra games can prove helpful by providing opportunities for players on the verges of the first team.
“I think that is hugely important for a club like Tottenham,” Sherwood told Sky Sports. “Everyone aspires to be in the Champions League, but we know how difficult it is to actually achieve that.
“We’ve got a big squad of players and when they’re all fit… they need a games programme and I think the Europa League gives them opportunities to play games, keep themselves mentally prepared and physically ready.”
Sherwood’s future at White Hart Lane is far from secure. In fact, with rumours of an impending sacking continuing to grow, Sunday’s game is likely to be his last.
However, he remains dedicated to the cause and has vowed to select a team that are similarly committed.
He added: “We want to finish with maximum points if possible, we know they are going to be tough. [Aston Villa] carry a threat on the counter attack and are better away from home than they have been at home.
“I will be guaranteeing to our fans that I will be selecting a team that want to play for Tottenham in this last game and want to be playing in the Europa League next season.”