Mark Lawrenson’s advice to Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson says that Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood should be more like West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis.

Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood needs to follow the example set by West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis.

Pulis is regarded one of the best managers in making sure that a club remains in the Premier League, with his often direct and no-nonsense football doing the trick for teams trying to avoid the drop.

The 57-year-old is doing a remarkably good job at West Brom at the moment and has pretty much guaranteed their survival in the English top flight for one more season at least.

When Pulis agreed to take charge of Baggies at the start of 2015, the team were just a point above the relegation zone; now they are eight points clear of the bottom three.

Villa, who play West Brom later today, are currently second from bottom in the Premier League table, and former Liverpool defender Lawrenson has advised Sherwood to take a leaf out of Pulis’s book.

"You know what you are going to get with Tony Pulis - he is going to make a team really difficult to beat, which he has done at West Brom and he builds the confidence up because he stops losing games,” Sherwood told BBC Sport.

"I am looking at Tim Sherwood and thinking he needs to take a leaf out of Pulis's book, for now. Nice attractive football does not matter for Villa at the moment because, in their situation, it is only results that count.”

While Lawrenson is right in advising Sherwood to go for result-oriented football at the moment, it needs to be mentioned that this is the Englishman’s only second senior managerial job.

Sherwood was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur for the second half of last season where the ambitions were distinctly different.

What Pulis specialises in has been cultivated over years, but for Villa to retain their Premier League status, Sherwood does need to learn that 'skill' quickly.

The key to Villa’s survival in the English top flight is to score goals. Sherwood needs to sort out that problem any way he can.

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