Tim Sherwood raves about 'unfairly criticised' Aston Villa stars Agbonlahor and Benteke

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood was full of praise for striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke after their goals against Sunderland.

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood told the BBC that he was 'very pleased' with the performances of strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke.

Villa made it three wins in a row in all competitions with a 4-0 thumping of Sunderland this afternoon, hauling themselves above the Black Cats in the Premier League table.

The game was over by half time, with Agbonlahor and Benteke both scoring twice each inside the first 45 minutes as Villa finally began to find the net consistently.

Sherwood appears to be working his magic at Villa Park, and he spoke to the BBC after the game, telling Gary Lineker that he was pleased for the duo after receiving 'unfair criticism' this season.

"The two guys who scored, I was very pleased with," said Sherwood. "Gabby [Agbonlahor] and [Christian] Benteke have had unfair criticism this season. Yeah, they haven't scored the goals, but they also haven't been getting the service, and I was a firm believer that, given the service, they would score the goals - and they proved that today."

With Villa struggling to find the net this season, it's only natural that strikers get the majority of the blame, and that has certainly been the case with Agbonlahor and Benteke this season.

Now though, the duo appear to be hitting form at just the right time as Sherwood drags Villa away from the danger zone - and that criticism will turn to adulation in no time if they replicate their display at Sunderland in the coming weeks.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch