Tim Sherwood calls on Aston Villa players to keep feeding Rudy Gestede

The towering target man made it three goals in the past two games with a brace in the weekend's 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.

Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede will not have any problems keeping his scoring run going as long as his teammates continue to feed him chances, manager Tim Sherwood has told AVTV.

Gestede, 26, joined Villa from Blackburn Rovers in the summer for a reported £6 million fee, having netted 35 times in 72 total appearances during his 18-month spell at the Championship club.

19 of those goals were scored with his head – the most in England over the past two seasons – and, while his overall performances for Sherwood’s side have been mixed so far, he has still managed to demonstrate the imposing aerial ability which his new boss believes is superior to that of predecessor Christian Benteke.

Headed finishes in the opening day victory at Bournemouth, 1-0 League Cup win over Birmingham City and the weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Liverpool have given the 6ft 4in target man a record of four goals in his first eight games for the club and he now looks to have nailed down a regular starting spot.

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsTotal ShotsShooting AccuracyAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyHeaders WonHeader SuccessAppearancesMins Played
Rudy Gestede 3 18 28% 0 1 53% 46 56% 7 392

Having previously struggled to make his mark in the top-flight at Cardiff City before dropping back down to the second tier with Blackburn, there has been some scepticism over whether the French-born Benin international will prove a hit at Villa in the long-term but Sherwood is confident that those concerns are misguided.

“It’s been easier for Rudy to settle [than the foreign signings] as he’s obviously been in England for a long time,” Sherwood told AVTV. “He’s used to the culture of English players and I’m really delighted for him.

“Give him an opportunity to score and he will score. We just have to make sure we keep feeding him because he’s a real threat.

“He’s got that one outstanding quality which, as I’ve said previously, is that he’s better than anyone I’ve seen for a very long time in the air.”

Villa have only recorded the 11th most crosses in the Premier League so far this season with 134 attempts but Gestede himself has started just three of their seven matches.

While he looked somewhat off the pace in his first few appearances for the club, though, his most recent outings have been much more encouraging and, having now earned move playing time going forward, the likes of Jordan Amavi and Leandro Bacuna should be sending plenty more balls into the box over the coming weeks and months.

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