Premier League - Managers: Hughes praises Barton

Sun, 01 Apr 06:18:00 2012

All the managerial reaction from a dramatic day in the Premier League.

2011-12 Premier League queens Park Rangers QPR Joey Barton - 0

Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Arsenal

Mark Hughes: "We have played really well in our last three home games against some big teams, but I thought this one topped the lot. I thought we were exceptional. We kept our discipline, our shape, and for us to put in the performance and get the result was important. We played excellent throughout and deserved the win. If we play at that level from now until the end of the season, we will win more games...

"(On Joey Barton) I thought Joey was different class today. He got a lot of stick last time out because his performance level wasn't high enough and he acknowledged that. I thought the crowd was great today in terms of how they encouraged him and they willed him to a top-class performance and that's what we got from him today."

Arsene Wenger: "Our performance was not good enough to win this kind of game. QPR had a little bit of extra special commitment. Overall we can only congratulate QPR for their attitude and be unhappy with our own performance. What we produced on the day was not good enough. Subconsciously something was missing today. In the Premier League if you miss something on the commitment front you are beaten. That is what happened today... We played against a team who play for survival. We prepared properly but we missed something today and you could see that."

Manchester City 3-3 Sunderland

Roberto Mancini: "I thought (about taking Mario Balotelli off) after five minutes but in the end he scored two goals. He didn't play well. In a game like this the strikers should be the difference - but not in the last two minutes, in the minutes before. A player like Mario or (Edin) Dzeko should score two or three goals in a game like this. In this moment we need Carlos (Tevez), a striker who can do different. I want this...

"I think on Monday United will probably do a draw and we are always three points behind. It is hard but we have another seven games. We have done some mistakes in the last games but also United can arrive in a difficult moment. It is important we are there. Before the derby it is important we recover two points...

"I think it is the correct result, a draw, but we didn't do a good performance. I am happy only for the last 10 minutes, for the other 80 minutes I am unhappy because we didn't play very well. I don't know why. In the first half we were flat and in a game like this, that is very important for us, we can't be flat in the first half."

Martin O'Neill: " I thought we played brilliantly today and am obviously disappointed to have dropped some points. But first of all, they have won 15 consecutive games here - and we are the first team to take some points off them - and they are also second in the league, so they are a very good team. They are never out of the match because they have so many match-winners.

"I think we got a little bit tired, maybe after the exertions and the disappointment of Tuesday night. We seemed to put that aside and performed excellently (at first) but it was a combination of both Manchester City fighting back and us getting tired."

Aston Villa 2-4 Chelsea

Alex McLeish: "I don't think we were second best. Chelsea had their moments and have world-class players, but we got in their faces. To get back to 2-2 was a brilliant effort, the desire we showed was fantastic. But we paid for not being able to defend at set pieces which is frustrating. (On the young players taking part) There was great encouragement there. It was a challenge to see how they did on the big stage and they did not let themselves down."

Roberto Di Matteo: "I thought we were strong, dominated and controlled the game apart from the five minutes when Villa scored two goals. Apart from that we had many chances and it was a shame we could not kill off the game earlier, but it was another fantastic performance. All the remaining games are massively important and we have done all we could do to put pressure on the sides above us in the Premier League...

"(On Torres breaking his drought) I have always said it doesn't matter who scores. Fernando has been providing goals for others and now he has scored as well. It was a tremendous goal."

Fulham 2-1 Norwich City

Martin Jol: "I have to say I had mixed feelings after the game. The first half we were well prepared for them and started off well. They changed their system all the time and they do that with a purpose. In the second half they changed their formation and forced us to double-up on the flanks, go back and we couldn't get out of it... but I have to say if you have to defend, you have to defend. I could not change that in this game so I was fairly pleased in the end, although we didn't play in my style in the second half."

Paul Lambert: "We should have got something. We were immense in that second half. You can't give teams a two-goal head-start. It is a mountain to climb from there but the response was absolutely terrific. We went about it and tried to retrieve the game and the second half I thought the lads were excellent... The great thing for me is that we never capitulated, which can happen when you lose two goals as early as that and being a young team."

Wigan Athletic 2-0 Stoke City

Roberto Martinez: "We've had seven draws at home when I felt we were as dominant as today. It's a real sign of maturity within the squad, a sign that we're learning with every game. That's very important, it's going to help our confidence. But I do feel this is the best season of the three that I've had with Wigan. We've started to get the results now and this group of players deserve that...

"We kept Stoke really quiet. It was probably the easiest game Ali Al Habsi has had all season and that's credit to the players... It was a very complete performance and magnifies how important the win at Anfield was. It was a historic day at Liverpool but if you don't win at home after that the points mean nothing."

Tony Pulis: "I'm more upset with the way we played. I thought Wigan were the better team, they played better on the day. It's very difficult for me to be critical of the team and the players because we've done so well lately and we've had a real tough run of games. There's incidents in every game you can pick out but it doesn't take away from the fact Wigan deserved the three points."

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 Bolton Wanderers

Terry Connor: "People can say what they want to say - there are still 21 points to play for. (We'll turn things round) by continuing to play like we did today. We dominated the game for an hour, scored, got in front. Then there is a penalty decision, which I've only seen once back. For me, it is a very dubious penalty decision. I didn't think the Bolton lads appealed with any great gusto. Our lads are adamant that it wasn't a penalty and that has a big bearing on the game... Everyone called this a must-win game and I recognise the importance of it, but there are still seven more to play and I am not giving up any hope until someone tells me that we can't do it."

Owen Coyle: "It was a massive three points. We talk about six-pointers and these recent games we have had against QPR, Blackburn and Wolves have all been that, because this is the business end of the season. Teams around us have picked up points, but for our part, that is nine points from three games and we can't do any more than that. We just have to make sure we continue to do our business."

Everton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

David Moyes: "If you said to me at the start of the season we would be in seventh with seven games to go I don't think I would have believed you. I am just delighted. If you said to me we would be as close to Liverpool as we were I wouldn't have believed you. We are in a stronger position than I felt we would be but the difference has been the boys coming in January - Landon Donovan, Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar. We have never started the season well but if you finish well it leaves everyone with a good taste in their mouth."

Roy Hodgson: "We missed a cutting edge. We went behind unfortunately with the deflected goal but were playing quite well up to half-time and could have had an equaliser. It was going to be very important to keep that going in the second half but the second goal killed that off. It gave Everton the confidence they needed to keep the ball and punish us on the counter-attack. In the end we were thankful to some very good defending from Jonas Olsson and the goalkeeper (Ben Foster) to keep it to two.

"I think we need about four more points and we've got seven games to get them. When you lose it gives you a sinking feeling and I now have to get the players up for the next game against Blackburn."

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