Premier League – What the managers said

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Reaction from the touchlines after Saturday’s Premier League matches.

FOOTBALL Liverpool MAnchster United Benitez Ferguson - 0

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

Rafael Benitez: “This was my first win against Manchester United in the league, and that was important for the team and for the fans in terms of belief and confidence for the future. And we also showed character after conceding an early goal. It was really important to score the goals we did, and to improve so much in the second half.”

Sir Alex Ferguson: “Our defending was poor, we had a bad day. Overall they were far the better team. They harassed us into mistakes, and they must take credit for how hard they pressed us when we had possession. We should be able to handle that better. There was nothing to take out of that performance in any way.”

Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal

Paul Ince: “The goal just before half-time killed us. We lost concentration, it was suicidal defending. You cannot give any team a two-goal start least of all Arsenal. They are an excellent side. I am glad we do not have to play them every week which is a good thing.”

Arsene Wenger: “We looked dangerous and fluent going forward. It was a well-accomplished victory. This victory will give us confidence as we know we will have to put in a similar performance [in the Champions League] next week.”

Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea

Mark Hughes: “We realise we are still young in time terms. But some people have got a little bit ahead of themselves and a little bit hysterical. We know the level we are at. Chelsea were excellent in the second half. They set traps for you.

Luiz Felipe Scolari: “[Robinho] is my friend. He scored once and we got three, so I am happy with that. Hopefully it will be the same next time we play City and I will be happy again.”

Newcastle 1-2 Hull City

Chris Houghton: “The easy thing would be for me to say yes, the events of the last few weeks had a bearing on the result. Probably more to the point was we certainly have got a few injuries in vital positions, we had a few players coming back late from international duty, which is the norm that everybody has to accept and put up with. But the preparation with what we have got has been good. I can’t fault the attitude and the professionalism of the players. That I can’t fault.”

Phil Brown: “The easy thing would be for me to say yes, the events of the last few weeks had a bearing on the result. Probably more to the point was we certainly have got a few injuries in vital positions, we had a few players coming back late from international duty, which is the norm that everybody has to accept and put up with. But the preparation with what we have got has been good. I can’t fault the attitude and the professionalism of the players. That I can’t fault.”

Fulham 2-1 Bolton

Roy Hodgson: “Bobby [Zamora] has the ability to do things like that. He’s got good feet but sometimes he has to be careful not to overdo it. It came off for him that time and we’ve been working hard on him releasing the ball a little bit quicker to fit in with our style. It didn’t surprise me that he pulled that goal off because we see it all the time in training. For a big man he has a lot of technical ability.”

Gary Megson: “It was a good goal by Bobby but our defending was poor as we should have made him stay wide. Danny Shittu let him inside and we weren’t quick enough to recover. It would have been harsh on Fulham if we had got a point but we got ourselves back into it with 10 minutes to go. The effort that we put in was superb.”

Portsmouth 2-1 Middlesbrough

Harry Redknapp: “How much would you value Diarra? He’s a scary talent, I tell you. He’s right up there with the very, very best midfield players in the world. He’s that good – an amazing player and he’s back in the France team again.”

Gareth Southgate: “We’re learning lessons which will stand us in good stead and this was another one today. We’ll try to take it into a big match against Sunderland next week.”

West Brom 3-2 West Ham

Tony Mowbray: “It’s good to get that first win and hopefully one or two people will now stop asking the same questions each week about whether we can score goals at this level. It’s a brutal industry and the longer you go without a win, the more psychologically it becomes difficult for the players.”

Kevin Keen: “The new manager had a very brief word afterwards. All he said was, ‘Unlucky, and I’ll see you on Monday’. We should have got something out of the game.”

Wigan 1-1 Sunderland

Steve Bruce: “[Amr Zaki] has got as good a goal-scoring record as anyone in the world and I hope that will continue. It will be very difficult for him in the winter because he’s used to playing in 30 degrees in Cairo every week. But he’s got a fantastic attitude and mentality, he’s a great boy and he’s got an outstanding chance. I was recommended him by Wes Saunders, the former Newcastle scout, and that’s where it started. A lot of people mocked me but I went out there and saw him score two and I had no hesitation.”

Roy Keane: “We got turned over here 3-0 last year and we got bullied. We weren’t bullied today. We proved we were up for the battle. A draw away from home in the Premier League is not the end of the world for us.”

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