Tim Sherwood hopes West Ham will be distracted by their precarious Premier League position when managerless Tottenham face their London rivals in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup quarter-final.
Sherwood was appointed interim boss after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas for a number of poor results, including the 3-0 loss at home to the counter-attacking Hammers in early October.
Ahead of his first match in charge, former skipper Sherwood told Spurs TV: “It’s a huge game, especially on the back of what they did to us at the Lane. It was disappointing.
“We have to get out there on the front foot and we have to impose ourselves on them as soon as we can during the game.
“Hopefully they’ve got their concentration on Premier League safety rather than the cup.
“We have to be patient. They got bodies behind the ball and tried to catch us on the counter-attack.
“We’re aware of that. Let’s just hope we can impose ourselves on them nice and early, get the crowd behind us and really be up and at them.”
The Hammers have just two wins in 10 matches in all competitions since the win at Spurs and are languishing near the foot of the Premier League, with Sam Allardyce’s position in jeopardy.
Sherwood hopes to banish the memory of recent performances and show he is a potential candidate to succeed Villas-Boas in the longer-term, with former England bosses Fabio Capello, Glenn Hoddle and Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino all contenders for the position.
Sherwood, who is already on the coaching staff at White Hart Lane, is eager for his side to show their quality against the Hammers following the 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
“When you lose your manager it’s a change and you’ve got to listen to a different voice, but I’m hoping to get a few messages across in a short space of time so we can get a positive result against West Ham,” Sherwood added.
Sherwood must instantly add steel to the style at Spurs to placate a Spurs hierarchy frustrated at recent results following a £100m summer outlay, financed in no small part due to the world record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
It is six matches since Spurs kept a clean sheet at home, against Hull, in a controversial win which was followed by a League Cup penalty shootout triumph against the same opposition to set up the Hammers’ duel in the last eight.
The hosts must do without suspended pair Paulinho and Michael Dawson, plus injured midfielder Sandro (calf), while Danny Rose (toe), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Vlad Chiriches (knee) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) could all return.
Sherwood knows his options are limited, but maintains Tottenham have enough quality.
He added: “In defensive areas we’re quite light, but it’s up to those boys to step up to the mark and perform well for the club and for themselves.
“We’ll just crack on with what else we’ve got. It ain’t a bad team.”