Premier League - Managers: Fergie backs Rooney
Sun, 26 Dec 20:21:00 2010
Managerial reaction from around the Premier League, with Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson backing Wayne Rooney to end his goal drought.
Manchester United 2-0 Sunderland
Sir Alex Ferguson: "Wayne (Rooney) had a couple of tries today. He was very unlucky with the chip and there were a couple of shots saved by the goalkeeper. He is getting there. The important thing is he is playing well. That is refreshing. Dimitar (Berbatov) could have scored four or five today. He had some terrific opportunities. I was disappointed with the score at half-time. We hit the bar and the post. Their keeper has made a couple of good saves and we played some really good football. It was exciting stuff but then we just seemed to go into third gear."
Steve Bruce: "I have heard it said that United are not playing that well. Well, they are unbeaten for six months, so that is not a bad statistic is it? They are top of the league, with games in hand, and history suggests they always get better in the second half of the season. Maybe we were a bit naive today. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say you were well beaten. But I wouldn't bet against them, that's for sure."
Alan Pardew: "Some of the opposition we have had, you would expect us to win, but I think most people would have come here hoping to win rather than expecting to win because they are a very, very good side. I am disappointed that we have lost, but on a technical level, the first phase cost us the game. If we started the game as we should at home, we could have got a win today."
Roberto Mancini: "I like Boxing Day. Last year, we won; this year, we won. I am happy with this first year, but it is my opinion that we need to improve again, we need to work. Only if we do that can we arrive at the top and win something at the end of the season. I am happy because Carlos (Tevez) scored two goals and I am happy for all the players because they played very well. They defended very well - it was difficult because they played the long ball for (Andy) Carroll and we fought for every ball against him because Carroll is a good player."
Gerard Houllier: "I think it is a poor result, but not a poor performance. Maybe with a bit of luck we could have had a second goal. But their second goal killed us, even if in second half showed we could have got something from the game."
Harry Redknapp: "I haven't seen it (the red card) since, but at the time I didn't have any arguments. I certainly wouldn't say I think he (Defoe) would go at the player intentionally though. Maybe it was just a little centre forward's challenge. The referee is a good referee, but he had a bad game. It was an excellent performance (by us). We started brightly and went one-up. Losing Jermain Defoe obviously made it difficult, but we kept ball well in the first half. It was a bit more difficult to do that in the second half. I said at half-time we could hit them at the break, which we did. It was a fantastic second goal. The movement by Gareth (Bale) and then the finish by Rafa."
Bolton Wanderers 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Owen Coyle: "The important thing today was the three points. I don't think we ever got to our maximum in the game. West Brom were terrific, they had some great chances to score but they didn't take them. We scored two good goals in the game and we could have had a couple more ourselves. There were a lot of nice attributes today that we'll need as the season goes on. We had to defend with our lives at times, we stood up and it's great to get a clean sheet. It was a different type of performance but it's pleasing to get the three points."
Roberto Di Matteo: We're coming away from here again and scratching our heads. We had more clear chances and we lost. It's tough for us. You get punished in the Barclays Premier League. You can't have five or six chances and not score one because it changes the momentum of the game if you score a goal. Peter (Odemwingie) had two fantastic chances and it's quite unusual for him (to miss them). He's quite composed in front of goal and he usually scores. But that will come. He's been out for a few weeks and I'm sure once he gets back into the rhythm again he will the score the goals."
Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Stoke City
Steve Kean: "Christopher would have played but he wouldn't have been captain because at the moment he is looking to possibly get away from the club. Until he can come back and say he is happy to stay I think we'll look elsewhere in the club. He would have played but he failed a fitness test today. We can understand the frustration of the fans and we are just as frustrated in the dressing room. There has been upheaval at the club but I don't want to make excuses because that is not the way I am. I was disappointed with the goals we gave away."
Tony Pulis: "I thought we deserved to win the game today. I was disappointed it was 0-0 at half-time and I don't know how Matthew Etherington missed his chance. We had a couple of golden opportunities and didn't take them. But in the second half we stepped it up a bit. I was really pleased with Robert (Huth)'s goal because our return off set-plays has not been as good as it could have been. Kenwyne (Jones) played very well and led the line. I have no doubt that Kenwyne is going to be fine. He just needs a bit of luck and one to go in off someone else's backside."
Fulham 1-3 West Ham
Mark Hughes: "When you lose home games I think (the fans are) well within their rights to vent frustration, because they've seen their team lose at home, which is not something that's happened on that regular an occasion. But I think deep down, the vast majority understand what we're trying to do and it will take time, and we've just got to be patient. If we do that, there are good players here and we'll come through the other end. But, at the moment, it's frustrating for everyone because we're better than we've shown."
Avram Grant: We deserved more than this before. I always say to the players, when you work hard - we worked hard also in the first half - sometimes things like this happen and you need to be awake. (Carlton Cole) was very awake because it was dead ball and he took the chance. The owners are very good with me. I need to stick in my job and I'll say again, I only care that I speak with the owners and the owners were very supportive, even in the difficult times. We have a vision at the club; it's not easy to turn things in a few months but people do it."
Mick McCarthy: "(West Ham's win wasn't a factor) for me, although I can't speak for individuals. I think it is the goals we have conceded which determines the performance, not what has gone on before. There (was a penalty appeal) on Stephen Ward which is an absolute stone-waller but we haven't had one yet, so why bother I might not even designate a penalty taker, because it doesn't seem like we are going to get one. There is only one way for us to go at this moment in time, with the games we have got remaining. I know ultimately there are two ways we can go, but at the moment there is only one."
Roberto Martinez: "It was a very difficult game in terms of coming to Molineux with a lot to lose. We could have finished bottom of the league and that could have been on the players' minds and affected their performance - we are very young. But I felt that the maturity in the performance was fantastic and it showed how far we have come in the first half of the season. When you see other teams playing in front of you, it puts that extra bit of pressure on. Looking at the first half of the season, we have been a lot more consistent than last season, but we haven't been able to get the results that the performances sometimes deserve."PA Sport