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Premier League – What the managers said



A brief look at how the Premier League managers reacted to their sides’ performances, with a delighted Martin O’Neill describing Aston Villa‘s showing as “brilliant”.

FOOTBALL Martin O'Neill Aston Villa - 0



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Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa

Arsene Wenger: “Everyone goes through a bad spell, but every point gained is of vital importance. They were difficult opponents. They defended very well and were sharp on the break. We had to dig deep to get to the pace of the game and it was the desire and refusal to lose which got us a point.”

Martin O’Neill: “It’s hard to describe, to come here and play so well. We deserved to win because we played brilliantly. We’re capable of attacking every team. We didn’t come here just to hit them on the break. We’re capable of scoring and, unfortunately, conceding. We’re a miles better side than when we came here last season.”

Fulham 0-3 Manchester United

Roy Hodgson: “Manchester United have a wealth of talent. 3-0 sounds like we’ve been outplayed but I don’t think that was the case. We were not outclassed. For me it is simply back to work but not back to the drawing board.”

Alex Ferguson: “It’s been a see-saw and now it is down to one point but Chelsea are still right on our coat-tails. It looks as if it is going to be a fantastic run-in. I didn’t think it was a great game at Fulham. It was a very windy day and a lively pitch but I think we did the job very professionally.”

Middlesbrough 0-1 Reading

Gareth Southgate: “The way they play is full of energy and we knew we’d be lacking some of that today. But it’s disappointing because we should have seen it through and we got caught with a sucker punch. We tried to freshen the team up a little bit but it was going to be one of those under-par days.”

Steve Coppell: “We were mindful of the 120 minutes Middlesbrough had played in midweek and we knew it was going to be factor in the last 10 to 15 minutes and that proved to be the case. A clean sheet would have been significant and to get all three points was a massive, massive boost. Psychologically I hope it is is going to have a real long-term effect.”

Manchester City 0-0 Wigan

Sven-Goran Eriksson: “If we don’t attack quickly it is difficult to create. But I thought we were dangerous right til the end but we couldn’t score. We were a little bit unlucky – Benjani could have scored once or twice. I am concerned that we don’t score goals at home and we find it hard to break teams down. We need to win soon.”

Steve Bruce: “You’ll always take a point but I think we should have won it. City were chasing the game and we had one or two good chances. If we keep playing like that and showing composure we will be ok. I thought at times we were excellent.”

West Ham 0-4 Chelsea

Alan Curbishley: “It’s a really bad day for us and we feel dreadfully disappointed for us and the fans. My players have done fantastically well this season. We have had major injury problems. I’m not going to criticise them.”

Avram Grant: “We will do everything to do it [win the title]. I never give in and I will not start now at my age. “We started very well and if it was not a red card maybe the score would have been higher. I am very happy. The players showed fighting spirit and passion.”

Newcastle 0-1 Blackburn

Kevin Keegan: “Confidence is low, but we must not allow this to knock us. I feel really sorry for the players. They need to know how to win again and they’ve forgotten what that feels like. They must gain something from today because if we play like that we won’t have problems. They were magnificent but got caught with the sucker-punch.”

Mark Hughes: “We are in the mix and back on track. It will be an interesting run up and we just have to do our job now. We felt there was something in the game for us and kept going. It was a cool finish from Matt Derbyshire.”

Derby 0-0 Sunderland

Paul Jewell: “It was a dreadful game. Conditions were windy out there and the referee was blowing his whistle every few seconds. The player’s tried today. Last week was one of my lowest moments in football so it was an improvement.”

Roy Keane: “I can’t fault the player’s attitute and spirit-wise we were outstanding. But the game should have been dead and buried at half-time. We certainly had the better chances – and scored a legitimate goal that was disallowed. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Goals change games but we are quite happy with the clean sheet.”

Birmingham 4-1 Tottenham

Alex McLeish: “We have deserved more from previous games at St Andrews and this time we got our reward. It was worth the wait. It was a fantastic show. The players’ work rate in every game cannot be faulted but this time we also added the finishing touch.”

Juande Ramos: “When a team achieves a big victory like we did last week, then they deserve to have a big party to celebrate. They had sufficient time after that to have made a full recovery and I am not using that as an excuse for today’s result. Of course, I am not happy with the performance. No manager could be happy with losing 4-1.”


Written by Israel Saria

For the last 20 years I have been working as a football pundit. This experience has provided me with a very useful insight into football and the opportunity to carry out extensive research into the game including its players, the stadiums, the rules and tactics and I have also been grateful to meet a wide range of people connected to football in the UK, Tanzania, Germany .....

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