How satisfied are you tonight?
I am really pleased with the efforts that the players are making. We continue with the result and we knew that this was a great result for us tonight as well. I can’t say enough for the players, they did a great job.
We can play better and I think there is another level that players can go to and my goal is to bring them there by the end of the season and really raise them to the top level. Tonight it was a really good result, very few teams score three against Sheffield United and I think that was the case for most of the season.
How satisfied are you with Jesse Lingard’s performance and how did he fit in?
I thought some of Jesse’s things were great tonight. He gave us a great way out, it was one of two times he could have let the ball go a little faster and we could have had more chances, but he definitely helped us.
We needed a few more offensive aspects of your game and he was good. Even Manuel Lanzini helped us tonight, and Jarrod Bowen did a great job as a center forward tonight.
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You now have more points than at the end of last season:
What gave me a little hope was the form we showed after the lock and the dedication, and we obviously have a few good signatures as well. All of these things worked well for us, but most importantly the players were shooting. we have a really good spirit and the results help so much and for so long to continue like this.
What are the chances of Michail Antonio being available for the weekend?
Well, it’s good that we’re not turning our attention to Micky Antonio tonight, because we scored three goals, and I thought Jarrod, Jesse and Manu did really well in trouble tonight in different ways. But Micky is really important to us and we hope to bring him back.
It was a big game for us and there was no risk of playing with him, but we knew he was in a position that something could happen and I didn’t want to lose him for long. I hope it will be good for Sunday, but at the moment I have no guarantee that this is the case.
How impressed were you with Ben Johnson and Issa Diop and what does that say about the team being able to come in and perform so well?
Well, I think the biggest compliment is if you gave them West Ham no matter how well the boys got in. The boys who came down from the bench and helped us win or turn the games around did a really good job. Ryan Fredericks came in and played really well in a few games recently, when he had to.
I think this was a big night for Issa, I think it started a little narrower, but as it went on, it got better and better and grew into a game.
Ben played a few games and did well, and he played very well at Manchester United when he came the other night, and that’s not really his real position, but when we lost Arthur [Masuaku] we should have tried to find ways if we decided to play five on the back how to do it, and he gave us a few opportunities that we could do the job.
It has been so long without punishment, and people may have forgotten who is taking them. Maybe a few raised eyebrows when Rice stood up. How far has he come on the ball this season?
It was a really good ending. We didn’t have a lot of penalties, but I knew that if Mark Noble wasn’t on the field, Declan would be the one to do it and luckily he pushed it.
On a penalty kick, Deland said he spoke to Lingard on the field and said you would have beaten him if he hadn’t, right?
True, because we want to be clear, we want the organization to be clear and for them to know that.
If Mark Noble is on the field, then he’s taking a penalty that he’s been performing for many years here and has a great record with them, so I also see that as a small step towards Declan.
That is his first goal, taking responsibility, taking ownership and ensuring that the job works. We might try the next game with someone else, but this was definitely Declan.
If you go out for the next two games in this position [fourth] is it good then you say we can run a little [European qualification]?
Well, that was Pearcey [Stuart Perace] who said before the game that we have five games before the first of April.
Obviously we’re still in February, so at the end of those five games, if we get into the last month or two of the season, then it might be hot, but we can’t really talk this way. He almost feels a little uncomfortable.
I don’t want to be negative in any way, but the team around us are great teams, so let’s be honest that we’re against some top talent, top teams and we’re going to have to play incredibly well to be there.
The good thing is that I think we got one or two more speeds from what we showed tonight. Obviously we had to juggle a bit with the team tonight and there was something new tonight, which we had to try to find and find a solution to win, and tonight we won with it as well.
Are you surprised at how quickly Jesse fit in that he didn’t play football much?
I think Jesse’s ability has always existed, only a year ago and a little more he was a member of the English national team. All in all, he is a talented footballer and we knew he could add something different to us in the last third to add competition.
There were times when we weren’t creative enough and I thought Jesse could give us a little bit of that.
He has done very well in a few games and I hope that the more he plays, the more he gets used to us, the more we get used to him, the more he continues to improve.
Do you feel confident in the team and everyone who wants to score a goal?
This is because we had some really good shots from a distance and I mentioned to the players that I thought we needed to shoot more and more towards the goal and provide more regular opportunities.
I have to say that Sheffield United also had opportunities, they played well and I think their recent form has shown why they are achieving some results. They had a few good parts of the game tonight which was causing us problems.
Aaron Cresswell’s six assists, what do you mean?
In an unusual well when he plays as a left side cross in a three-pointer, his assist numbers grow much higher. We gave him a lot of sticks last season, so it’s good to see his improvement in both quality and delivery from the kit.
All in all, he played very well for us, he had a few games when he was up and down, but overall he was very very good.
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Does this win show that you don’t have to rely on Michael Antonio to score goals?
Part of the job was finding a way to win the games and we won’t always come up with an answer. As you know, we looked at what we can do.
Jarrod Bowen played little as a center-forward with Hull City and scored several goals during his career. I thought Jarrod did a great job as a striker tonight.
It gives us other options and maybe it refreshed Jarrod a bit too. history has recently been here that all winger who ends up as a center forward becomes very good so who knows if the same thing can happen to Jarrod.