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Soccer-Sherwood on brink as Tottenham's season takes new twist

Reuters

(Adds Sherwood quote)

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur's rapidly unravelling season took another twist on Monday with first team coach Tim Sherwood set to be replaced in the summer, according to media reports.

The former England midfielder, a Premier League title winner with Blackburn Rovers, was handed an 18-month contract in December following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas but results since have been inconsistent.

Tottenham would not comment on a Sky Sports report that the 45-year-old Sherwood would be relieved of his duties in the summer, although more light should be shed on the matter later when Spurs host Sunderland in the Premier League.

"I can't say much right now," Sherwood told Sky Sports.

"What I can say is tonight is business as usual. I'm setting the team up to win a football match for the benefit of the club and the 35,000 fans who will come to watch.

"I'll speak at a later stage."

Sherwood's future has been the source of much speculation since he publicly slated some of his players for a "lack of guts" after a 4-0 thrashing by London rivals Chelsea last month.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, currently preparing for the World Cup, has been strongly linked with the Tottenham job.

Despite selling their best player Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in August, Tottenham were strongly tipped to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League after investing nearly 100 million pounds in new signings.

However, the likes of Spain striker Roberto Soldado, Brazil midfielder Paulinho and Argentine youngster Erik Lamela have failed to gel, costing Villas-Boas his job before Christmas after heavy defeats by Man City and Liverpool.

The straight-talking Sherwood, who was promoted from working with the club's under 18s, did initially make an impact with Tottenham maintaining their push for the top four - the standout result being a New Year's Day victory at Manchester United in which rejuvenated striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored.

Performances have tailed off alarmingly though and Tottenham went out of the Europa League to Benfica in March and also suffered league defeats against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, virtually ending their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Before Monday's home clash with bottom club Sunderland the club were seventh in the table, eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer)

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