Sherwood blames Arsenal defeat on injuries

The Spurs boss argues that fitness problems have reduced his squad size significantly following a 2-0 north London derby cup loss at the Gunners
Tim Sherwood blamed Tottenham's injury problems as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by arch-rivals Arsenal.

The new Spurs boss was unable to call upon Sandro, Younes Kaboul, Erik Lamela, Kyle Naughton, Paulinho, Gylfi Sigurdsson or Jan Vertonghen for Saturday’s third-round tie at the Emirates Stadium and was left to rue his lengthy list of absentees, with the Premier League leaders claiming a 2-0 win.

Former Tottenham midfielder Sherwood was only able to make one change to the XI who lined up against Manchester United on New Year's Day and feels that a hectic recent schedule was partly responsible for the team's below-par display.

3/1 Tottenham are 3/1 with Betway to finish in the Premier League top four
He told reporters: "It's been six games in 17 days and we've probably the smallest squad in the league because of injuries."

Sherwood refused to criticise Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who gestured to Tottenham fans to remind them of the score when he was carried off with a knee injury.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was told by medical staff that coins had been thrown at the England international by away supporters and the Spurs head coach had no complaints with the attacker's reaction to the away supporters.

"I don't know Theo; I don't know him as a lad. Maybe it was a bit of banter," he suggested.

Santi Cazorla opened the scoring in the first half and Tomas Rosicky robbed Danny Rose to double Arsenal's lead after the interval.

Tottenham caused their foes few problems and Sherwood could not help but be impressed with Wenger's side, noting: "We came to a team who are top of the league for a good reason. They're very, very good."