Tim Sherwood says Aston Villa must take points from each of their eleven remaining Premier League games if they are going to avoid relegation.
Sherwood watched his side lose for the second time at Newcastle on Saturday and warned his players afterwards that things must improve or they will be facing life in the second-tier next season.
Villa delivered a battling performance at St James’ Park but once Papiss Cisse gave the home side the lead before the break the goal-shy visitors were in trouble.
Sherwood is not worried about putting his struggling squad under more pressure.
“I’m ramping up the pressure on them. I’m telling them we can’t drop any more points,” said the Villa manager.
Defeat at Newcastle means Villa have taken just two points from 30 available since Christmas Day. They remain second from bottom in the league table.
Sherwood rubbished any suggestion that Villa are ‘too good to go down’.
“People say we’re too good to go down with all this quality. It’s all nonsense. You have to prove it on the pitch. You have to go out there and do it.”
Sherwood now faces back-to-back derbies against Midlands rivals West Brom.
The sides meet in the league on Tuesday before an FA Cup clash next Saturday. Both games are at Villa Park and Sherwood says his players have the stomach for a fight.
“People say it’s all about guts and desire in a relegation fight. They’ve got that. They showed me that today,” he added.
Villa are 2.52 to defeat in-form West Brom (2.70) on Tuesday with the draw 3.01.