Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood was full of praise for midfielder Tom Cleverley after he scored his third goal in as many games to earn them victory over West Ham United, reports the Birmingham
The West Midlands side are now in a wonderful position to stay in the Premier League after continuing their fine form. They now lie four points clear of danger with only two games left – away to Southampton and at home to relegated Burnley – having undergone a transformation since Sherwood took charge.
It was another strong performance on Saturday as they totally controlled the first half, forcing West Ham goalkeeper Adrian into a couple of saves before the decisive moment came shortly after the half-hour mark. Youngster Jack Grealish showed neat footwork to reach the by-line before crossing low and hard for an advancing Cleverley to convert a simple chance from close range.
The visitors came into the game more in the second half, with Enner Valencia seeing goal ruled out for offside and Morgan Amalfitano coming close, but Villa held on for victory.
And after the game, Sherwood singled out on-loan Manchester United man Cleverley for praise, saying: “What I like is his energy and his determination for this football club. He’s on loan here but he treats this football club as though it’s his own.
“He leaves nothing on the field. If he needed to add anything to his game it was goals. I said to him you don’t score unless you make runs into the box. He’s a good technician and if you give him chances in the box he will score. Obviously I’m delighted he’s contributing with some important goals.’
Sherwood also confirmed his desire to sign Cleverley on a permanent basis in the summer, when his Man Utd contract expires.
Think you know your football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG’s tipster competition – £11,000 to be won monthly!