TIM Sherwood has used a racing analogy – in Cheltenham Festival week – as Aston Villa prepare for the home straight in the fight for Premier League safety, starting at Sunderland in tomorrow’s six-pointer.
Gus Poyet’s Wearsiders are just one point better off than fourth-bottom Villa, who have a three-point advantage on the bottom three.
Sherwood said: “I think it’ll be a photo finish and I hope we’re not in it.
“We’re probably just coming around the corner, but it’s probably the longest run-in in racing history.
“All we’re looking at is the next fence and that’s Sunderland. After that we hope we can stay in the running. There might be a few who fall along the way and we’re hoping that’s not us.”
Villa have won their last two matches fir Sherwood, beating West Brom in league and cup, and Sherwood – only in charge for four games following the departure of Paul Lambert – was impressed with the players’ attitude.
“They’ve been good and a win makes an awful lot of difference,” he said.
“They have been focused and up for the fight.
“They haven’t dwelt on the position. It’s about looking forward now, what we have done previously counts for nothing.”