“He’s had ups and downs and he always comes through smiling at the end of it.

“Mark is very experienced. He is exactly as a manager what he was as a player – very tough. He knows what he wants and knows how to get it.

“You learn a lot from the likes of Mark Hughes. There’s Alan Pardew too.

“They’ve all had long careers in management. Mark Hughes is right up there among the top ones.”

Sherwood on relegation battles

“It’s too early to put us in a relegation battle. We’re a young group, a new group. I’m confident we’ll be okay.

“It’s my job with the group of players we have to make sure we get up the league. I know the job comes with pressure – that’s part and parcel of it.

“I’ll stand up as manager and the players must stand up as players.”

Hughes on Villa Park

“It’s a place that we have enjoyed going to over the past couple of years I would suggest, and hopefully we can claim three more points this time round.

“It’s never an easy place to go but we have produced some really pleasing stuff there during our previous visits, and we can take heart from that.

“We picked up our first win in the league last weekend and now we want to build upon that and sign off for the international break unbeaten in four.

“We were pleased with how things went last week, taking four points from two games and beating Fulham in the cup, so we are in good spirits at the moment and looking forward to the game.”