Tim Sherwood: Plan for survival involves relying on Christian Benteke

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood was full of praise for Christian Benteke after his side's 3-3 draw with QPR.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the Daily Mail that his plan for survival will involve Christian Benteke firing the goals to keep Villa in the Premier League.

Benteke smashed a superb hat-trick for Villa on Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough to earn a win over Queens Park Rangers, as the two relegation-threatened sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Belgian international hitman Benteke hit 23 goals in his debut season for Villa in 2012/13, whilst he still managed 11 goals last season - even with an achilles injury which made him miss the final six weeks of the campaign.

This term, the 24-year-old has struggled in a Villa team which was largely devoid of creativity, but he has now been given a new lease of life under Sherwood.

Now with seven goals in seven games under Sherwood, Benteke is hitting form at just the right time for Villa, who sit three points clear of the drop zone.

Having such a talented striker is such a boost for Villa, and Sherwood admitted after the draw with QPR that his plan for survival involves Benteke firing the club up the table.

"That's the plan," said Sherwood. "It doesn't come much better than that. He's a good player, I have always said it and he's in a rich vein of form. It's fantastic for him to score the goals, it's just a shame we couldn't get the three points.

"It's not about what you deserve, it's about what you get and we got one point. This could be a vital point come the end of the season in the end, when you go so late into the game and Christian has had to pull that out the bag we're grateful," he added.

Sherwood being able to call upon Benteke gives Villa an advantage over the likes of Leicester and Burnley in the race for Premier League survival - and just as he did with Emmanuel Adebayor at Tottenham, Sherwood appears to have revitalised Benteke.

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