Tim Sherwood comments on Aston Villa's 6-1 defeat to Southampton

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Tim Sherwood admitted that his Aston Villa side were 'unrecognisable' against Southampton - but he didn't berate the players.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the club's official website that he wasn't angry with his players despite their 6-1 defeat to Southampton.

Villa went into the game having won three of their last four games, but unravelled on the South Coast in a disastrous first half showing.

Forward Sadio Mane broke a Premier League record for Southampton, scoring a hat-trick in just two minutes and 56 seconds, surpassing Robbie Fowler's previous record.

That put Villa 3-0 down inside the opening 16 minutes, before Shane Long added two more for the Saints before the break, with Christian Benteke pulling one back for Villa on the stroke of half time.

Villa couldn't salvage anything else from the game, as Graziano Pelle's goal made it 6-1 for Southampton, marking one of the worst days of Sherwood's reign so far.

Fortunately for Villa, Hull's defeat at Tottenham this afternoon means that they are now safe from relegation, meaning manager Sherwood can now start to plan for next season.

Yet after a torrid afternoon at St. Mary's Stadium, Sherwood told the club's official website that he wasn't angry with his players - because shouting and screaming at them wouldn't have done much good considering that they have an FA Cup final against Arsenal later this month.

"It was unrecognisable to the team we know we can be," said Sherwood. "Credit to Southampton, they punished every single mistake we made - and we made a few. Our players didn't need to be told. They know. It wasn't just the defenders, it was everyone, including myself, we're all in it together. Now we have to win a game next week and we have to win a Cup Final."

"That was one bad 45 minutes they have given me since I have been here. There's no point me stripping paint off them in there. They know they haven't played well in that first period, I know that, an idiot knows that. It wasn't good enough. We feel sorry for our fans. There's no choice but to respond now. I am sure we will. I have seen enough character in these boys over the last couple of months," he added.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch