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Sherwood: These two Villa players put Liverpool on the back foot

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood was pleased that his tactical change against Liverpool worked so well.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has spoken to the Daily Mail about the tactical switch that he made to help his side beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final. 

Liverpool struggled to contain Villa throughout the match and Sherwood feels that this was largely down to the performances of Jack Grealish and Charles N'Zogbia.

He says that the creative pair both caused problems for the Liverpool defence, as the Reds weren't expecting them to play such a prominent role.

Sherwood's Villa team have generally been quick to get the ball forward since he took charge, but his approach was much more patient against Liverpool and the Claret and Blues boss felt that it shocked their opponents. 

"We changed the way we played," he said. "We normally go very direct, and use our pace down the sides, I think Liverpool would have expected us to do that.

"But we played it short through the thirds and caused some problems in the little pockets of areas. They were a little bit bamboozled to be honest.

"We needed to create a threat. I’m not sure Liverpool tried to second-guess what we were going to do but I don’t think they would have expected that.

"We looked Liverpool and thought it might cause them a few problems if we played two No.10s with Jack Grealish and Charles N’Zogbia and it turned out that way. They got them on the back foot."

Tactical nous is an area of Sherwood's managerial style that he, perhaps, hasn't received enough credit for so far.

Sherwood is regularly complimented on his man management ability, but his tactical strategy has occasional been viewed as a weakness.

It seems that he outthought Brendan Rodgers yesterday, though, and it has helped the positivity at Villa continue to grow. 

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