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Villa must get used to new boss taking all the spotlight’s glare

| 16.02.2015

There was only ever going to be one theme for Aston Villa’s FA Cup clash with Leicester this weekend. New manager Tim Sherwood, always readily available for a natty sound bite or emotive sideline reaction, took his place in the stands as every camera in Villa Park swivelled on him.

BBC’s match director chose to cut to Sherwood 17 times over the course of the 90 minutes, which goes some way to depict just how drab the action on the pitch was.

Thankfully, Mr Centre of Attention chose to dash down into the dressing room to deliver an impromptu half-time speech, even though he wasn’t officially in charge of the side. His words took effect on the Villans, who looked a more positive bunch almost instantaneously.

A mere 23 minutes into the second half, Villa took the lead through Leandro Bacuna. It produced the below reaction from Sherwood and served as confirmation that the only man able to rival Alan Pardew as the division’s most camera-worthy manager was back in business.

Villa fans won’t care a jot if they have to watch continued clips of their new boss on the box instead of the actual match, so long as he keeps the wins coming. If his impact on reviving Spurs’ season last term is anything to go by, then it’s likely he will.

There isn’t a better side for him to face in his first official match than the Midlanders’ next opponents either.

Stoke could well check out into holiday mode earlier than ever before. Sat in 10th in the Premier League, there is nothing for them to play for in that arena and, having been dumped out of the cup by Blackburn Rovers, mid-table anonymity is all that awaits.

Villa are 8/5 to better the Potters when Mark Hughes’ men arrive next Saturday, a fantastic offering considering the already important influence the former Rovers skipper has had on the relegation fighters.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.