• Aston Villa host Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon 
  • Villa face Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 30 
  • Victory would see Villa’s win their first piece of silverware in 19 years

Laurie Whitwell for The Mail on Sunday

Tim Sherwood has predicted tears are likely to flow whatever the result of the FA Cup final against Arsenal – but he can at least daub his eyes with a claret handkerchief he helped design.

The Aston Villa manager had a hand in the production of the squad’s Paul Smith blue suits, and he is planning on adorning the look with a winner’s medal he believes can set the platform for better seasons ahead.

Villa face Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday in what is now a dead rubber. Sherwood does not think survival should be celebrated by his club, but admitted beating Arsenal on Saturday to claim Villa’s first piece of silverware in 19 years would provoke an open top bus parade to last a month.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has predicted there will be tears from him either way in their FA Cup final

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has predicted there will be tears from him either way in their FA Cup final

More importantly, he believes it can engender a winning mentality among his squad something he admits has been lacking in the past.

His excitement at the prospect of a Wembley showpiece in his 44th game as a manager was palpable as he spoke with his customary blend of passion and humour.

He is an emotional manager and he may – like Dick Advocaat when Sunderland clinched safety – need to wipe away some tears come full-time in the Cup final.

‘We’ve got a hankie, it’s claret. I took care of that,’ he said smiling. ‘I could feel for him (Advocaat), I know what a relief that is. It’s your life.’

Sherwood celebrates after Villa's FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool at Wembley last month

Sherwood celebrates after Villa’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool at Wembley last month

Sherwood was in his car following the 6-1 defeat at Southampton last week when news came through of Villa’s survival. He allowed himself his trademark fist pump. ‘People were driving past me, “What the f*** is he doing?”.’

He added: ‘I used to cry when I was a kid when I couldn’t win, now I cry to myself when we don’t win. It hurts me.

‘It means so much and it’s got to mean that much to the players.‘ 

‘We have to move out the losers. Not to be disrespectful – I’m not saying that everyone who leaves here is a loser – but the ones we bring in have to be ones who want to achieve and move upwards.’

Southampton striker Sadio Mane (left) scored a hat-trick as they trashed Villa 6-1 on May 16

Southampton striker Sadio Mane (left) scored a hat-trick as they trashed Villa 6-1 on May 16

The crushing defeat at Southampton was called a ‘freak’ by Sherwood, who insists he will not change tack for the final.

‘Arsenal have talents all over the field,’ he said. ‘But so have we. We have players who can hurt them.

‘Let’s go toe to toe and see what happens.’ 

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