Spink: Sherwood can be Villa's saviour

Aston Villa legend Nigel Spink is backing new manager Tim Sherwood to turn the club's fortunes around and keep them in the Premier League.

Nigel Spink believes new manager Tim Sherwood can galvanise Aston Villa and arrest their alarming slide towards the Championship.

Sherwood was appointed as Paul Lambert's successor on Saturday and watched on from the stands as his new side beat Leicester City 2-1 to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals the following day.

Villa can now look forward to a local derby against West Brom in the last eight of the FA Cup, but Sherwood's priority is to ensure Villa climb the table after a run of five consecutive defeats saw them plunge into the Premier League relegation zone.

The 46-year-old spent five months as head coach of Tottenham last season and Villa legend Spink saw enough in that short time to convince him that Sherwood is the right man to turn the club's fortunes around.

The former Villa goalkeeper told Perform:  "I think the squad needs a bit of a kick up the backside aligned with a boost of confidence and probably a new voice in front of them.

"Tim brings that to the party with what I've seen from his Tottenham experience and I think he will be the right type of character to give them half a chance of getting out of the situation they are in.

"I think he will bring a bit of steel and there will be no nonsense, which I think is an important criteria."

Sherwood delivered a half-time team-talk after a goalless first half against Leicester and Spink, who now runs a courier firm, was encouraged to see Villa produce the goods after the break.

He added: "From the 45 minutes or so that he got involved with the team on Sunday against Leicester he changed the dynamics of the side at half-time from what I'm hearing.

"They were a lot more attacking, midfielders got forward a lot more than they have done this season and it generated a different system to what they've been playing.

"For me it was quite evident that he did have an impact at half-time."

Villa will attempt to secure their first Premier League win in 11 top-flight games when Sherwood takes charge for Saturday's clash with Stoke City at Villa Park.