Premier League - Managers: Redknapp's title boast

Sat, 20 Nov 20:25:00 2010

Reaction from the division's dugouts, with Harry Redknapp claiming Tottenham can win the Premier League after their win at Arsenal.

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Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Arsene Wenger: "If you look at the stats and the numbers, it is very difficult to understand how we lost this game - a drop in concentration, some basic errors, some back luck as well. You are a bit speechless to re-analyse the game. It is a mystery how you can lose a game like that. If you look at the clear-cut chances that Tottenham had, it is difficult to understand how we can concede three goals, but we lost it and we can only look at ourselves. We could not maintain the focus nor the urgency for 90 minutes because some players dropped. I believe that overall we delivered a performance expected in a game like that quality-wise. However, it was a mixture of fatigue in the second half, and also a lack of cautiousness."

Harry Redknapp: "It's wide open this league this year, it's wide open. Chelsea are not as good as they were; Man United are not as good as they were three or four years ago. They're still excellent teams but they're not the force they were. They were almost invincible, the pair of them. I think Tottenham are now getting closer and the championship is wide open. I said that to the players yesterday morning. 'Why can't you win the championship? Who says you can't? .... Why should we all be fearful and keep saying, 'We can't win it'?' I wouldn't be saying it if we had a bad group of players. I'm a realist; I'm not dreaming. It's difficult to do but it's not impossible. This is the best chance anyone's going to get this year."

Birmingham City 1-0 Chelsea

Alex McLeish: "I've always said a good keeper is paramount. He can win you championships, earn you points, save you points, or keep your team in the division. Ben (Foster) has been superb for us. I thought the criticism of him with England was a bit harsh. He made some great saves today and in other games and has been on top form since he came here. We got a bit of luck but I would say that in recent weeks we have deserved to win games which never went our way. We have had plenty of bad luck this season so far. Maybe we got a bit of luck today."

Carlo Ancelotti: "I've already said to the players don't lose confidence because you played good football. The result is frustrating but they deserved to win. The team didn't play well against Sunderland and this result is not good but we didn't deserve to lose. We didn't win because we were unlucky and because Ben Foster (Birmingham goalkeeper) played a good game. We have to take confidence from the way we played. It is just the result that was disappointing. It is a strange Premier League this season. There are a lot of opportunities for teams to close the gap at the top. We are losing opportunities but so are other teams."

Liverpool 3-0 West Ham

Roy Hodgson on a supposed rift with Glen Johnson: "I think it's more correct to say people made mischief about a conversational comment that was no way directed at Glen. People in his camp have tried to hit back in a childish manner. Talk about a storm in a teacup, this was the original storm in a teacup. I've always had a good relationship with him, he's a good player and I know what he can do. He was more than fit and raring to go."

Avram Grant: "Today we played poor. In the last weeks we've played well. We didn't come into the game in the first half, in the second I was happy with the response of the players. The players looked like they wanted to succeed in this game, but something's not going well. We didn't play well like we did in the last weeks. The fans were great and supported the team. But they must know it is not easy to play with so many players that couldn't play. We take the second-half performance and I'm sure we can win the next game because they are games we can win."

Manchester United 2-0 Wigan Athletic

Sir Alex Ferguson: "It has been a good day for us, no question of that. If you had said at the start of the day would you take being joint top of the league I would have said 'yes'. We know that come the second half of the season we will definitely get better and now we are joint top with Chelsea. (The reception for Wayne Rooney) was good - that will be pleasing for him, settle him down and make him realise he is at the right club, no doubt about that. It was a quiet comeback, he got involved in a few of the bits of interplay but in the main he just needed that 25 minutes or so. He will play against Rangers on Wednesday and that will be the perfect match for him to come back and get 90 minutes."

Roberto Martinez:  "Everything was going according to plan - we looked really resilient and strong and were frustrating Manchester United and we looked like the team who were going to score. But we allowed the frustration to develop and that knocked our concentration. When you go down to eight outfield players it's easy to capitulate but be showed real character and steel to form the basis for a good platform for the future."

Bolton Wanderers 5-1 Newcastle United

Owen Coyle"I knew Johan (Elmander) would be champing at the bit to play today and his performance was outstanding. I'm very comfortable with the relationship I have with Johan. We speak all the time and I understand that as a player you get on a run and you don't want to be sidetracked. We'll continue to have a dialogue and it doesn't faze me. We're enjoying the wins but the only league table I've ever looked at is the one after the season is finished. I'll see them if we've improved. Everyone is giving their all and they're doing it with a smile on their faces."

Chris Hughton: "It was a bad day at the office for sure. I don't think 5-1 was a true reflection on the game but we added to our downfall and gave away some very poor goals. It's about a reality check. We're playing in the toughest division and from day we've said there are going to be some ups and downs. We've had some good days and we've had some bad days, and today was a very bad day."

Blackpool 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ian Holloway on Luke Varney's goal: "It was an absolutely audacious effort. I don't think I have seen a better goal in a long time. Van Basten thought about hitting a shot once and it went in - then 'Reg, what are you doing? Oh, get in! Brilliant.' We will take that but I felt for the first time we didn't dominate possession, we didn't get our game going. We scored an absolutely out of this world goal and we got one from a set-piece, which we have hardly done all season. I thought Wolves were very hard done by. They made it really difficult for us. I made a few changes but because they had more of the ball than I anticipated it didn't really work for us. It is the first time at this level when we have got something probably unjustly."

Mick McCarthy"All us managers know, whichever league you are in, in football games you need results. It doesn't matter if you play good, bad or indifferent if you get results. If you are not getting results the pressure mounts but I don't sit and worry about that. I worry about not getting points. I think when we hit the post I didn't think it was going to be our day, but it didn't look like that from minute two. When we got one I thought maybe, but we weren't good enough in either box unfortunately."

West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Stoke City

Roberto Di Matteo: "Football can be very cruel sometimes and today was an example of it. For the first (penalty) there was minimal contact and he went down very, very easily. For me it wasn't (a penalty) but obviously they got it. I thought the second one was a harsh one and it is one we probably wouldn't have got if it was in our favour. It was shoulder-to-shoulder and there was not much in it. It is difficult to explain a game like that because I think they had about one shot on target. You look at the scoreline and it is incredible."

Tony Pulis: "We have been on a bad run of four straight defeats in the Premier League and now we have three straight wins, which is the first time this club has done that in the Premier League. It is a great achievement by the players, but as I have said, whether you are losing or winning, I think it is important the manager stays as level as he possibly can. I'll allow the supporters to get down and despondent or happy and getting carried away.


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