Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood addresses Carles Gil's lack of action

The Spaniard has been impressing in training but Sherwood stresses that he has to be thinking about the team rather than one individual during their battle to avoid the drop.

Amid ongoing calls for Carles Gil’s reintroduction to the Aston Villa line-up, manager Tim Sherwood has told the Birmingham Mail that it’s irrelevant how well the Spaniard was performing before his appointment.

Gil, 22, started Sherwood’s first game in charge against Stoke but lasted just 58 minutes before being hauled off and hasn’t been back in the starting XI since.

The creative midfielder has been restricted to a one-minute cameo in last month’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over West Bromwich Albion during the past six weeks and even saw fellow substitute Joe Cole used ahead of him in the weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United.

After the promising start he made to life in England under the since-departed Paul Lambert following January’s £3.25 million move from Valencia, fans have grown increasingly baffled over Sherwood’s reluctance to use him and have been demanding an answer for his lack of action.

The Villa boss seemed to give them an answer ahead of tonight’s crucial visit of Queens Park Rangers, though, stressing that, while Gil has been impressing in training, his approach during their survival bid is to focus on the collective rather than the individual.

“I just pick a team that I think will win a match,” he said when asked about Gil’s diminished role. “Had he done well before? I didn’t know. He might have been doing well personally but they’d lost seven on the spin.

“It’s all about Aston Villa, not one particular player, I like Carles - he trains really well but when I think it’s right for him to get an opportunity he’ll get it.”

“That goes for everyone.”

In what could also be seen as a reference to Gil, Sherwood added that he wants his “icing on the cake players” to toughen up ahead of the clash with fellow strugglers QPR, declaring: “You look through QPR’s side and they’ve got a lot of players who are men - with a lot of experience in there.

“We’ve got a few men in there - but we’ve got a lot of pretty much icing on the cake players and I’m trying to get that mentality into them to forget about digging out results.”

It doesn’t sound like Villa fans should get their hopes up over Gil’s starting prospects tonight then but, if Sherwood’s side go on to suffer their third consecutive defeat, there would be good reason for them to feel aggrieved.

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