Tim Sherwood reacts to Brad Guzan's blunder in Aston Villa's defeat at Manchester City

The Villa boss has defended his number one following his goal-costing error in the opening minutes of the 3-2 loss.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has backed goalkeeper Brad Guzan to bounce back from his early blunder in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Manchester City.

Sherwood was speaking to AVTV after the match, which saw his side fight back from 2-0 down to level the scores going into the final minutes, before succumbing to Fernandinho’s last-gasp winner.

Villa could take some positives from the result, having become the first Premier League visitors since 2008 to see more possession [55 per cent] at the Etihad Stadium, but were made to rue a disastrous start when Guzan’s sliced clearance allowed Sergio Aguero to open the scoring within the first three minutes of the match.

While his performances during his first two starting seasons proved crucial in helping Villa avoid the drop, this term has been a somewhat testing one for the US international, having now made four errors leading to a goal.

With backup Shay Given impressing during the club’s successful FA Cup run, there were already suggestions that the veteran Irishman could be handed back his old starting job going into the weekend, and that speculation is now bound to increase ahead of the visit of Everton.

Nevertheless, Sherwood would not be drawn on whether Guzan’s performance had put his place under further pressure and instead moved to defend him from criticism.

“I don’t think it’s probably the first mistake Brad’s made in his career,” said the Villa boss. “That’s the nature of the game as a goalkeeper. You need to just get on with it and have that character to bounce back.

“No one’s putting any blame on him. It happens and unfortunately for goalies there’s just no hiding place.”

Continuing on his side’s overall performance, Sherwood added: “I thought we did well. We were brave in possession and controlled the ball after a very edgy first five minutes.

“We’ve come to a very difficult place and we weren’t phased. We took the game to Man City, created some chances and deserved something from it.

“It’s just unfortunate we made some errors defensively. We’re going to have to tighten up if we’re going to stay in the Premier League.”

After defeat at the Etihad, Villa are just two points above the relegation zone with four matches remaining, with Hull City, Leicester City and Sunderland all having games in hand over them.

Sherwood’s men now have back-to-back home games against Everton and West Ham United and a trip to Southampton before hosting Burnley on the final day, in a match which could well prove a relegation showdown.

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