12.04.2015 02:16 h

Benteke not done yet, says Villa boss Sherwood

Tim Sherwood has insisted there is more to come from striker Christian Benteke after his Aston Villa side took a giant step towards Premier League survival with a 1-0 win victory away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Benteke's first-half winner ensured former Spurs boss Sherwood made a winning return to White Hart Lane as Villa moved six points clear of the bottom three to ease their relegation fears.

It was a moment to savour for Sherwood, sacked by Tottenham after the end of last season.

And he had no hesitation in singling out Benteke, with the Belgium striker now having scored eight goals in his last six games, the forward apparently revitalised by Sherwood's appointment as Villa manager.

"He's done well. To score 12 goals in 25 games before I came in, was something wrong," said Sherwood, who took over at the Birmingham club following the sacking of former boss Paul Lambert in February.

"I don't think it was Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor or Andreas Weimann," Sherwood added. "There was something wrong with the team behind them as we were not creating chances.

"With Benteke, I think his strike rate is one in two. He's prolific. If you give him chances he will score. I think that's the key."

He added: "I've had so many people telling me 'you can't win there, we never win there', so where do we win?

"That desire, and heart and spirit has never been questioned. It was just a little bit of quality, and guidance and quality in a pressure-cooker situation. I think we found that," added former Blackburn and Spurs midfielder Sherwood.

Villa are now on the verge of preserving their top-flight status but Sherwood, whose side aren't involved in league action next weekend because of their FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool at Wembley, were far from safe.

"I don't know how much we'll need," he added. "We're just going to enjoy the semi-final next weekend and we will concentrate on that."

Villa were full value for their victory in north London thanks to Benteke's 35th-minute headed winner.

The only sour note for Villa was the red card shown to Carlos Sanchez deep into stoppage time for two bookable offence that means the Colombia midfielder will now miss the FA Cup semi-final.

Meanwhile Ciaran Clark (knee) and Agbonlahor (hamstring), who limped off, are injury doubts for the Wembley showdown.

Tottenham looked laboured and the end of the season seemingly cannot come quickly enough for a side now managed by Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Southampton supremo wrote off Spurs's chances of making the top four and securing a place in the Champions League after they lost at home to Villa for the first time since 2008.

Now the best Tottenham can hope for, it appears, is another Europa League spot and manager Pochettino said: "It's difficult to fight for the top four, if you saw the last two games. We need to be realistic now.

"We need to increase a lot our performance. It's not easy. We are in a position where we need to win all points (available)," the Argentinian added.