Sherwood defends Tottenham tactics

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Tim Sherwood has defended his tactics following Tottenham's disappointing loss to rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup.

The newly-appointed Spurs manager watched as his side were dominated by Arsene Wenger's men, and many have criticised Sherwood's decision to deploy a 4-4-2.

Visitors Spurs were heavily outnumbered by a talented Arsenal midfield, although the loss represents only his first defeat since his permanent appointment at White Hart Lane.

"They outnumbered us in the middle of the park but we outnumbered them out wide," Sherwood is quoted as saying in the Express, defending his tactics. "They can't have it all ways. I think we were fine.

"We didn't lose the game because we were outnumbered in the middle of the pitch.

"A lot is made of systems - 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or whatever you want to call it... It's about passing the ball to your own team and keeping hold of it because when you lose the ball you are always going to be out of shape - otherwise you are going to be a rigid, boring team.

"It's about funnelling back in, shuffling across. I don't think we were overrun in the middle of the park. I think they did all right."

Sherwood's attacking brand of football - in stark contrast to predecessor Andre Villas-Boas - had won plaudits in previous games.

The Europa League outfit looked consistently dangerous in their impressive 2-1 win at Old Trafford, but were outclassed at the Emirates.

However, despite disappointment at the result, Sherwood remained upbeat.

"I am disappointed with the result, but we didn't disgrace ourselves," the ex-midfielder said.

"We showed we belong on the same field and in the same company as Arsenal.

"It has been six games in 17 days for us and we probably have the smallest squad in the league with the amount of injuries we have had.

"We were fatigued. A little bit of sharpness was missing but it could have gone either way.

"They showed great character and I am proud of them."

The loss leaves Spurs out of both domestic cups, and Sherwood's priorities will now juggle between Champions League qualification and Europa League progression.

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