Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers

Tim Sherwood has a temper, I think we all know that and if we didn't we certainly have learnt that over the last few games.

Verbals with Jorge Jesus at White Hart Lane and throwing his gilet during the Arsenal game in an anger rarely seen from a manager. The guy cares, he hurts just like we do. Whether some supporters like it or not not his heart beats Tottenham.

Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand
Sherwood and Ferdinand have plenty to smile about
Before the game he spoke to the ITV cameras.

"I knew it was going to be tough, the first month was easy when you are winning games and I knew that we would come against tougher opposition but we will be striving to do better.

"There have been a lot of well-wishers in football and I thank them and there have been a lot that want to tread on your head and I don't thank them.

"We need to find some leaders out there tonight, I'm sure there are some in the dressing room and they can bring us through. We are playing against a Champions League side, but we have nothing to lose. There are 3,000 travelling supporters and we need to do them proud."

Then after making those 3,000 travelling fans proud and all the supporters watching at home he said:

"It was good to see their manager sweating. I did not see a suave character on the side, I saw someone who was really flustered, which was good to see.

"That is what we intended to do and that is what we achieved. I just wanted to get a better view and maybe take some steam out of the situation.

"It was about what our boys could do against their boys on the pitch. I didn’t want that to take away from what we did on the pitch."

I think we are all well aware he didn't want to be anywhere near Jorge Jesus and had no intention of shaking his hand. Sitting in the stands saved him having to publicly not do so for which I don't blame him at all.

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Harry Kane made an impact when he replaced Roberto Soldado was involved in plenty of the action. He headed on for Chadli to grab our first, he headed back for Chadli to grab the second, and was bundled over for the penalty that was not given, although as the commentators said, had it been at the other end it would have been given. He spoke after the game.

Harry Kane made an impact
Harry Kane created an aerial threat
"The lads were working hard [before I came on] but then perhaps Benfica got tired. I posed an aerial threat, won a few flick-ons and got them going the other way a bit. We got the two goals and were unfortunate not to get a third in the end.

"The third goal at home was a poor goal to give away and it is always a tough ask to come here and get three goals – but once we went 1-0 down here nothing changed, we still had to get three goals. Overall, today we were different class but it's a shame the game hasn't gone into extra time.

"Once we got one and then two they started to get a bit nervous and it was down to us. We had a few crosses, a couple of unlucky headers but they are the fine margins in this competition. We were playing a great side in Benfica and I thought we were a bit unlucky. We showed we are a team and that we are together. We stuck together throughout both legs and hung in there.

"We're disappointed, we came so close. The lads are proud of each other, we feel for each other because we all put in a shift but that's football sometimes. You want to impress in these games and you're playing against some of the best teams in the world so to get the two headers was good."

Young left-back Zeki Fryers who had to fill in at centre-back had a solid game of which he could be proud. He also spoke after the game.

"I thought the lads showed great character to come here 3-1 down and show some fight. We still had belief after the first game. Once we scored two we really believed we could get a third. It was disappointing but we have picked our heads up already. Benfica are a great side and it's a great stadium. The atmosphere was great so for a young lad like myself it was a great experience.

"I've got to play in the UEFA Europa League quite a bit and it's different, there's a different style of play to other games. We now know if we go a goal or two down we can pull it back. If we show the same fight for the rest of the season it will help us."

He makes an important point about the experience. This was a makeshift side who have never played together before, that is tough in itself. Add to that it was a young side and the bench was full of 18 year-olds gaining experience of first team life.

The back four did their job and Nabil Bentaleb in front of them must surely have silenced his crazy critics. The experience he is gaining now and will gain at the World Cup will stand us in good stead next season, when we won't need to be buying any defensive midfielders. He is a star in the making and could be a stalwart of Spurs sides for years to come.

The Benfica eagles flew before the start of the game and our lads soared during it. They can hold their heads up high.




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