FA Cup - Managers: AVB denies Drogba team talk

Sat, 18 Feb 19:23:00 2012

Managerial reaction from the day's FA Cup ties, with Chelsea's Andre Villas-Boas fending off tough questions after playing Birmingham.

2012 Chelsea Didier Drogba - 0

Chelsea 1-1 Birmingham City

Andre Villas-Boas on claims Didier Drogba gave the half-time team talk: "This is ridiculous. Why would Didier be doing half-time team talks? It is ridiculous. I will not comment on this story. It is ridiculous."

Asked if the Champions League game is a must-win fixture for him: "No, not at all. It's not up to me to decide that. You have to ask that question to the right person. We were not good enough. Better in the second half but not enough to win the game. Never satisfying when you draw at home to a Championship team. The team commitment was there and the team response was there straight after we suffered the setback. If the penalty goes in, it's 1-1 a little bit earlier and it gives you time to find the winner. It took us too much time to score the leveller."

Chris Hughton: "We had to cope with a couple of things today, none more so than a very, very good Chelsea team. But for large parts of the game we were able to cope with their problems and have our own attacks. This is a changing room that wants to play games, this is an exciting time to play cup competitions against Premier League sides."

Sunderland 2-0 Arsenal

Martin O'Neill: "(Not having to play a mid-week game) helped us immensely. We had lots of energy, if anything we were getting stronger as the game was going on. The last 15 minutes of last week I thought we were really tired but I think the advantage swung our way this week. I'm really, really delighted for everybody concerned with the football club and the players in particular. I thought they were excellent today, not just working hard but when we had the ball. There's plenty of self-belief about the team, that's getting stronger and I think they feel as if they can win matches, which is great."

Arsene Wenger: "We have to take the critics on board and stay together and face the critics. There is only one response ... to stay united and fight and focus on the next game. Let's focus on our next game to finish well in the championship and fight as well - even if it's a small possibility - in the Champions League."

Everton 2-0 Blackpool

David Moyes: "Obviously the early goal helped us a lot, but the game was never over. Blackpool had a great shot at the end where Tim Howard made a great save and they missed a penalty kick. That would have only been half the story though because we missed a hatful of chances to put the game well beyond doubt.  They're tough, Blackpool."

Ian Holloway: "I can't believe the start we had, such a fundamental thing to let their centre-half have it and think you're solid, we drew our full-back out and it was played in behind him, such a schoolboy thing but such is life. I wanted to give a good show of what we have been doing and see where these lads are mentally and physically but we have just been beaten by a better team today."

Norwich City 1-2 Leicester City

Paul Lambert on his much-changed team selection: “We’ve got a few lads to come back for next week and hopefully we’ll have a big squad to pick from. I don’t think leaving out Grant (Holt) or (John) Ruddy or anyone made any difference because everyone else in my own view is good enough to play. If I thought that then (Kyle) Naughton would have played, Holt would have played, Ruddy would have played. We just never did enough to go through."

Nigel Pearson: "This is still a very important competition. The FA Cup unfortunately seems to have diminished in terms of how people perceive it. But certainly not for me and I don't think for the fans either. That was borne out of the pressures for success in European football for the bigger Premier League clubs. But it's still a very prestigious competition. I was pleased with the performance and the result is just what we needed."

Millwall 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

Kenny Jackett: "Whether it was a free-kick or not is debatable but they took it quick and to give a Premier League side a start like that is disappointing and gave them something to hold onto - basically after that their game plan was to sit deep. We had a lot of good possession and some good moves without being able to get that goal."

Owen Coyle: "First and foremost I am a football fan and I want to be excited by some of the players I've got in my team, and Ryo Miyaichi certainly does that. In football terms he is a baby, a kid. I saw when Arsenal brought him in and then watched him on loan at Feyenoord last year, and he always caught my eye. I spoke to Arsene a few times about him and did everything I could to get him to the football club."


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