Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is eyeing Tuesday’s League Cup derby clash against rivals Birmingham City as the perfect opportunity to get the Villa Park faithful back on his side.
Sherwood has endured a tricky start to his first full season at the helm and comes into this week’s third-round tie off the back of defeats to Leicester City and fellow local rivals West Brom.
Villa’s only win since their opening-day success at AFC Bournemouth came in the second-round progression against Notts County and Sherwood knows patience is wearing thin among sections of the support.
“We try and play to a certain style and we had a lot of flair players in the team,” Sherwood explained after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to West Brom.
“Those flair players have to realise they need to put a shift in to do the ugly stuff. It’s about me showing them what I desire from them and then it’s up to them to apply it.
“You lose derby games and the patience wears thin. I am fully aware of that but Tim Sherwood is at his best when he’s backed into a corner.
“You learn more and more every week in terms of individuals and how you set up as a team. It’s my job to try and put that right and find the right ingredients.”
Sherwood continues to have doubts over Idrissa Gueye (hamstring) while Birmingham boss Gary Rowett could again shuffle his pack following Friday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town in the Championship.
Brett Pitman’s penalty denied Birmingham victory at Portman Road – Rowett making a number of changes following a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest just three days earlier.
Despite the prospect of weary legs for the first Second City derby in four years, Rowett is hopeful the occasion can see his players through.
“We freshened the team up [against Ipswich] and made two or three changes. It was a long journey down, after Tuesday night’s game,” he said.
“If you look we have got the whole weekend, Monday and most of Tuesday to recover. Plenty of recovery time.
“For me, it’s a one-off game. A self-motivating game in terms of the atmosphere, in terms of the opponent, in terms of what it means to everybody.
“It might be that we go out there and do something slightly differently tactically because those are the type of games where you have to be a little bit more unpredictable. It might be we make one or two changes.”