Sherwood outlines the 'plan' to save Villa

A Christian Benteke hat-trick saved Aston Villa in a thrilling 3-3 draw with QPR on Tuesday night.

Ultimately, Tim Sherwood will have been disappointed with just a point from the relegation battle with QPR - managed by his old Tottenham colleague Chris Ramsey - but he was delighted with the contribution of Christian Benteke, who took his tally to seven goals in the last five games under Sherwood.

When asked if he thought Benteke's goals could save Villa from relegation, Sherwood told the Guardian "That’s the plan, if we can shore it up at the back as well." It is the caveat which Sherwood added where Villa could come unstuck, having found their form at long last at the other end of the pitch. 

"We’re creating chances aren’t we?" Sherwood added "I can’t really understand how they’d only scored 12 [league] goals before I came here. It’s a head-scratcher really. Maybe that’s the only reason they’ve only won three times here this season. It’s incredible for players with that sort of strike rate.”

Villa recovered from conceding an early Matt Phillips strike to take a 2-1 half-time lead. But goals from Charlie Austin and veteran defender Clint Hill turned the game on its head and saw Villa trailing at home in a game they simply couldn't afford to lose. 

However, 24-year-old Benteke stepped up to save Villa with an 83rd-minute free-kick after the home side had laid siege to Rangers' goal.

Benteke now has 10 goals for the season and despite the recent return to scoring form, Villa remain the lowest goal-scorers in the Barclays Premier League with just 23 goals scored.

Most significantly, Villa sit just three points above the relegation zone and with three of the clubs around them - Burnley, Sunderland and Hull - carrying a game in hand.

If Villa are to escape from relegation they need more than just Benteke's goals, and Sherwood's plan needs to involve an improvement on just two wins in the calendar year of 2015.

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