Tim Sherwood speaks after Spurs' 3-1 defeat to Benfica: "Beaten by the better side"

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Beleaguered Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood spoke after his side's 3-1 home defeat to Benfica in the Europa League.

Spurs were simply outclassed on the night as goals from Rodrigo and a Luisao brace were enough to hand the Portuguese side a huge advantage going into the second leg, and Sherwood agreed that his side were simply second best to Jorge Jesus' men.

“Yeah I think so. You'd have to say that first half, there was nothing in it – they've had one shot on goal and it ends up in our net, which is obviously a body blow...but yeah, you'd have to say that they had more penetration, more guile...unfortunately, we were beaten by the better side," he said.

Spurs gave up some comical goals against Chelsea in their 4-0 defeat last weekend, and the slack defending was on show again, as Rodrigo's goal was the result of one ball beating the entire Spurs defence, before Luisao's double came from poor defending from set pieces, and Sherwood was understandably disappointed with the manner in which his side conceded.

“We always say if we're going to get beat, let's make them work hard for their goals but today, they haven't had to work too hard. The first one was quite straightforward, just one long ball down the middle and then he [Rodrigo] slots it past Hugo, and then to get beaten on two set pieces is a real disappointment."

Spurs' goal came from a superb free kick by Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, but it was one of the few pieces of quality in the game, and Sherwood bemoaned the lack of creativity in his side, but praised the effort and work rate of his players, which he demanded after the Chelsea game, and thought youngster Harry Kane fared well in what was a tough game for the 20-year-old.

“Good quality from Christian [Eriksen], yet again he's affecting the game, but not enough of that overall. [Harry Kane] was the same as everyone else, worked hard, no problem with anyone's desire today but it was a tough game, would've been tough for anyone. Everyone's tried, everyone's tired in there...a lot of effort, a lot of huff and puff but unfortunately, it was quality we lacked.”

It was a second heavy defeat in a row for Spurs, and with the murmurings of discontent surrounding Sherwood's tenure in charge at White Hart Lane growing ever louder, he's in desperate need of a result - particularly with the big North London derby against Arsenal on Sunday.

“Losing games does make you lose confidence, but that's why they're professional footballers. It's not all rosy in the garden, sometimes you've got to dig deep and find a result, and there's no better way to do that than in the North London derby on Sunday.”

Sherwood's frustration perhaps boiled over tonight, as he was seen confronting Benfica boss Jorge Jesus after the third goal. Jesus was seen pointing three fingers in Sherwood's direction, and the former England international took great offence to the gesture, suggesting it was disrespectful.

“Just a lack of dignity. Waving his three fingers after they scored the third, waving goodbye. You've got to put up with that unfortunately, but you shouldn't have to. It's just a lack of class.”

Finally, with a tough fixture ahead of them in Portugal, Sherwood was coy about Spurs' chances of turning the tie around.

“We'll have a go. That's all we can do," he said. With at least three goals needed at the Estadio da Luz, it's looking bleak for the Spurs boss - both in terms of this tie and his future at the club.

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