Tim Sherwood says talismanic midfielder Sandro is currently “not good enough” to get into the Tottenham Hotspur squad after returning from injury.
The Brazilian was not even named on the bench for today’s game against relegation contenders Fulham, prompting him to broadcast a tweet confirming that he was fully fit.
And after the match Sherwood confirmed he had been left unimpressed with the defensive midfielder’s recent performances in training.
He said: “I like Sandro’s qualities but at the moment he’s not selected. I just think Nacir Chadli and Paulinho have done well.
“He’s been injured but in my eyes it wasn’t right to put him in the squad – other people were ahead of him.
“I don’t care about the tweet – he can tweet what he wants. He’ll always get an honest opinion from me and at the end of the day he’s not telling any lies, he’s not injured and he’s fit to play but he’s not selected because he’s not up to it at the moment.
“He can bang on the door all he wants but he’ll get the same answer. I really don’t have a problem with him, he’s a good lad, I don’t have a problem with anything he’s got to say, he’s not being disrespectful to me I don’t think.”
Minutes after Sherwood’s television interview in which he expressed his feelings on the midfielder, Sandro tweeted: “Lol lol lol…”
Spurs ran out comfortable 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Paulinho, Kane and Kaboul, and Sherwood said he was pleased to see his side had not conceded in the opening minutes as in recent games.
He said: “I’ve tried not to be too anxious with the boys and tell them we need to start well - they know that. It was about settling into the game as quickly as they could today.
“I wasn’t overjoyed with the start but it was nice to still be in the game after five minutes.”
Christian Eriksen provided assists for Paulinho and Kaboul’s goals with two superb whipped free-kicks.
And he and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who pulled off a couple of fantastic reaction saves, were singled out for high praise from their manager.
Sherwood said: “Eriksen is a fantastic advert for any young player who wants to improve themselves - I have to drag him off the training field every day.
“And Lloris is a genuine world class player. He gets on with it, doesn’t say a lot but he leads by example and when he’s needed he’s done brilliantly.”
Sherwood’s future has been under increasing uncertainty, with more big names being linked with the Spurs managerial job in the summer, but the head coach insists he is staying focused on the job in hand.
He said: “The speculation has never gone away – I’ve always fended off the same questions and I just had to get on with it.
“It’s not ideal obviously but it’s the environment that’s been created. It’s a great honour to manage this football club and I just have to be professional and prepare them to win football matches as best I can, and I think I’m good at it.”