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Tim Sherwood urges Aston Villa to man up

Aston Villa v QPR: Tonight Villa Park, 7.45pm Tim Sherwood has urged Aston Villa to man up as he labelled their clash with relegation rivals QPR the club’s "biggest game" for years.

Tim Sherwood urges Aston Villa to man up

They host Rangers tonight with Sherwood admitting he does not have the players to grind out results.

Victory would move Villa five points clear of the Premier League drop zone but they will return to the bottom three if QPR, three points behind with a better goal difference, win.

And Sherwood underlined the magnitude of the game ahead of the showdown.

“I think this is the biggest game that a lot of these players have ever played for this football club,” he said, with Villa in 17th.

“This is without doubt the biggest game of the season for Villa and possibly one of the biggest in a number of years. This is the biggest (of my managerial career).”

But the boss believes he must instil a different mentality into his players as he tries to keep them in the top flight.

“We’ve got different types of players, you look through QPR’s side and they’ve got a lot of players who are men — with a lot of experience in there,” he said.

“We’ve got a few men in there — but we’ve got a lot of pretty much icing-on-the-cake players and I’m trying to get that mentality into them to forget about digging out results.

“It’s not what we’re cut out to do. I haven’t identified many players who can’t cope with the pressure, but you don’t know until they get out there.’

Sherwood is without Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Scott Sinclair while Tom Cleverley, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho are doubts. Sherwood faces his friend and former Tottenham assistant, QPR boss Chris Ramsey, for the first time since they both left Spurs last summer.

Ramsey admits his job at Rangers could be under threat if they get relegated and, while he admitted Ramsey may prefer to be a manager, Sherwood left the door open for a reunion at Villa.

He added: “If there was ever an opportunity for me to work with him again I would do that. I would have to speak to the club about whether we could find a role for him here.

While Villa have endured fierce injury problems, it was confirmed QPR’s Chilean forward Eduardo Vargas would miss the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury suffered at West Brom.

Nevertheless confidence in the QPR camp is high heading into tonight’s crucial match at Villa.

QPR had lost 13 of 14 league away games before Saturday’s vital 4-1 victory at West Brom. The win also saw the west London club to end a five-game losing run, while they remain in 19th place just three points adrift of safety.

“It was a fantastic victory for us,” QPR coach Chris Ramsey said.

“The morale has been good, very professional. The players have this belief.”

QPR want to build on that success in tonight’s game at Villa Park.

“We are going to approach the game in the same way as we have done in the past,” Ramsey said. We are hoping that we can be as clinical as we were on Saturday. We want to put pressure on the teams around us. Everybody seems to be responding to what others are doing. The pressure is equal.”

Ramsey knows Tim Sherwood’s Villa side are feeling the heat.

“Villa are close to us and they are going to want three points to climb further up above the line,” Ramsey said.

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