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Tottenham Hotspur-Southampton Preview

AP - Sports

Tim Sherwood will take charge of a professional football club for only the second time in his career when Tottenham Hotspur visit Southampton on Sunday afternoon.

He will hope his second attempt goes better than the first.

Sherwood took over as caretaker manager of Tottenham (8-3-5) on Monday following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking. Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final against West Ham was Sherwood's first game in charge of a first team at any level in his short coaching career, but the former Premier League winner and England international overhauled both team selection and tactics, recalling Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe and playing a classic 4-4-2 with two predominantly attacking midfielders in the centre. Tottenham lost 2-1.

Spurs have yet to agree a permanent successor to AVB and confirmed on Thursday that Sherwood (also a candidate for the job) would remain in temporary charge for the game against the impressive Saints (6-6-4).

"If it was down to me I'd be getting a ten-year contract now, but football doesn't work like that," said Sherwood. "I know all about the football club, I played here, it's my club. I know what the supporters want and I know what they demand, but it's not my decision to make the appointments and we need to respect the men who make those appointments. We have to speak long-term with the chairman, it's his decision.

"The club and the manager have to be compatible, it's not always about the biggest name, he might have done well at another club, he might not do well at this one. It's up to the chairman and the board to make the correct decision that's right for the long-term future of the club as it's not good to keep changing managers."

Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton have been one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season (leading to Pochettino also being linked with the vacant Spurs job), but have failed to win any of their last five to slip off the top-four pace. Despite the poor run, the Southampton manager insisted his team won't be changing the style of play that earned them so many plaudits in the opening three months of the campaign.

"We want to keep on doing what we've been doing so far and beside the point that the schedule is going to be full of games, we want to show who we are with our identity," said Pochettino. "The thing about this team is that it's always played the same way. Overall the team has been playing well and with the same philosophy and identity which is the most important factor."

Southampton have injury doubts over Danny Fox (hamstring), Nathaniel Clyne (hamstring) and Kelvin Davis (back), while Artur Boruc (hand) and Victor Wanyama (calf) are out. Tottenham have doubts over Danny Rose (foot), Vlad Chiriches (knee) and Sandro (calf), while Andros Townsend (hamstring), Younes Kaboul (hip) and Jan Vertonghen (ankle) are out.

Tottenham did the double over the Saints last season, with Southampton graduate Gareth Bale scoring the winner in both games. None of the last ten meetings between these clubs have ended in draws, with five wins apiece.

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