London: Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is relishing the prospect of taking on West Bromwich Albion in season`s first West Midlands derby on Saturday, but has urged fans to stay in their seats in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last season`s ugly scenes.
The bitter rivals last faced each other in the sixth round of the FA Cup at Villa Park in March, and Sherwood`s men emerged as 2-0 winners in a game in which both sides had a man sent off, amid scenes of violence and crowd trouble that resulted in two fans being arrested.
Villa were fined 200,000 pounds ($312,000) for failing to control their supporters.
West Brom`s supporters reportedly ripped out seats and hurled them onto the pitch, while the home side`s fans invaded the pitch twice.
"We`re delighted with the support they give this football club but it can done from their seats," the manager told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
"But make sure you stay off the pitch. I just hope you get tempted to jump on it because that means we`ve done something right," he added, while acknowledging the special significance of the derby.
"Derbies are good games to be involved in. I hear a lot of managers say it`s just another game. It`s not. It`s a lot more than that. Local pride and bragging rights.
"We need to make sure we do it for our fans and for ourselves," the 46-year-old Englishman said.
Sherwood, whose team beat West Brom on both occasions the rivals met at Villa Park last season, is expecting the Baggies to be hard to break down on Saturday, and will be without the services of Adama Traore, Idrissa Gana and Carles Gil due to injury.
"We`ll express ourselves and try to score goals. We know West Brom will be competitive. They`ve got good, experienced players who have been around the block a few times," the former Tottenham Hotspur manager said.
"We know West Brom will come and be hard to break down. We`ll have to attack. My philosophy is always to win and be on the front foot."