Premier League - Managers: Wenger vows to maintain intensity

Sun, 10 Apr 18:37:00 2011

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows that his players will need give their all between now and the end of the season to keep their slim title hopes alives.

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Blackpool 1-3 Arsenal

Ian Holloway: "I don't feel robbed. I can't describe how I feel. I've seen it week in, week out. How that isn't at least one penalty I don't know. The handball I could understand. The Taylor-Fletcher one was a blatant penalty – that would have changed the whole momentum of the game and our season."

“I feel like a gladiator who is going into an arena with a toothpick. They may have a sword and a shield but we're having a go and doing the best we can. We're all in this together.

"To win a game at this level is the hardest thing I've known and it's brilliant. We're desperate to stay in the division."

Arsene Wenger: "I think we can maintain this intensity. We now have a rest, then we play on Sunday and then Tottenham the Wednesday after. We know that we have to give 100 per cent in every game. We have promised ourselves to give everything until the end of the season. There are still seven games. It is a long time - there are many games.

"I knew that, at 2-0, (Blackpool) would not give up. We missed some chances in the first half and, at 2-1, we had a little nervy period. Making it 3-1 killed the game because they had given a lot.

"(Jens Lehmann) did well. His decision-making was spot on. In fairness, he didn’t have a lot to do because we controlled the game quite well. He is commanding and his authority helped us on set-pieces. I was not concerned because I replaced a good goalkeeper with a good goalkeeper. The only concern was not having a goalkeeper on the bench anymore. If something had happened to Jens, because he had not played for a long time, we would have had a problem."

Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle United

Gerard Houllier:  "I think we deserved it. We showed desire, commitment and fighting, battling qualities, which are a must in this sort of situation. Maybe we weren't relaxed enough at times but I think that's down to the pressure. When you have pressure, the team's fighting spirit plays a big part.

"You can't have egos. The team performance comes above everything else. I thought they all worked for each other. The effort of everyone was fantastic.

"We knew, even before this game, that we had our fate in our own hands. We started a new league of eight games. This is a new league for us. We know what we want to do and there's commitment."

Alan Pardew: "I think we just missed the core of our team today, we missed some big players, and probably for Villa it was a good call because of the players missing.

"Having said that it was a gallant effort. In our passing we could’ve been crisper and better, yet we still could have nicked something at the end.

"Everybody in the division is the same. We just need to get to those 41-42 points so we're comfortable. There’s plenty of games and we have plenty of good players, and we want to finish stronger than that if we can."

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