Premier League - Managers: Benitez says Chelsea can still win title

Managerial reaction from the midweek Premier League matches, with Rafael Benitez insisting Chelsea can still win the title.


Sunderland 0-0 Queens Park Rangers

Harry Redknapp: "It's going to be tough, we mustn't kid ourselves. You look at the position we are in - it's very, very difficult. But I can see there are some decent players there. We need to play as a team and be a team and if we can put them together and get them to work together, we have got a chance. You can only work with what you have got, can't you? I can't pluck anyone out of the air at the moment. You can't bring anybody in, you have just got to get the best out of the players who are here."

Martin O'Neill: "It was a rather frustrating evening, I think frustration would sum it up. It was tough for us. Losing Cattermole so early on in the game disrupted us somewhat, but even so, that's a handicap you have to overcome. It was just a frustrating evening."

Aston Villa 1-0 Reading

Paul Lambert: "Darren was in the squad, it was the same on Saturday. I just picked the same group. I do what think is best for Aston Villa. But honestly, I don't have a problem with Darren Bent and I do rate him as a player. I've no problem with his attitude in training, none whatsoever. Did he storm off? No, not a thing. I would tell you. I thought he was fine. I read the team out. The most important thing is Aston Villa. Will I listen to offers in January? Honestly my main concern is winning games for this club, nothing else. Can Bent play again for us Yes, never rule anything out. But I pick a team to win, I never pick one I think will lose."

Brian McDermott: "I thought we were going to get a point. I knew the first goal was going to be crucial. I thought the shape of the team was good but to lose the goal from a set piece was disappointing. I thought we had solved the late goal problem. But it's not a six-pointer. It's a game of football and we've got a game of football to look forward to against Manchester United at the weekend."

Southampton 1-1 Norwich City

Nigel Adkins: "The first half we were on the front foot and there was a verve about us. We scored a good goal through Rickie Lambert and could have scored one or two others. Unfortunately, the game has changed for us bang on half-time with the goal we have conceded. I don't think it was a free-kick from where I was in the dugout, watching the video back, Nathaniel Clyne made contact with the ball first [before Snodgrass]. The ball has gone in that direction, indicating he made contact first, but the referee has given the decision and we've got to save it. That gave them a big uplift and in the second half I thought they were the better team."

Chris Hughton: "I think it was a fair result. I thought Southampton were better in that first period and we took a little bit of time to get going. We were stung a little bit by the goal, but I thought we were very good in that second half. As the game opened up, I thought we defended very well and if anybody was going to score on the break I thought it was going to be us... I spoke to a couple of players that were very close to the incident and they both said it was handball. Nothing has changed my mind since seeing it. I think it is a difficult one as there were a lot of bodies there but certainly it was a handball."

Stoke City 2-1 Newcastle United

Tony Pulis: "We won't get carried away, we've had a couple of very good results at home, to take six points from Fulham and Newcastle is very, very pleasing but at this football club whether we're third from bottom or ninth it makes no difference, we just carry on what we do and we do it to the best of our ability. We were unlucky first half with the one that hits the post, if that goes in it takes some pressure off, and when they score from a mistake by Asmir [Begovic] who should do better than that, you think it's not going to be your night... I think in the end we deserved to win the game."

Alan Pardew: "After 75 minutes we were bossing the game, 1-0 up looking like we were going to get a second, I thought we had a definite penalty that wasn't given, and two sucker punches have cost us. I feel so sorry for the players because it's been a tough little spell for us with the blows we've had on the injury front and we've put in a really great performance here and ended up with nothing, it's hard to look your players in the eye and say you've carried the gameplan through and got nothing. It's the run of results that's the problem and we've got to stop that."

Swansea City 3-1 West Bromwich Albion

Michael Laudrup: "The first half was one of the few times as a manager that you are just watching the game, it was a delightful, it was fantastic. We also saw the quality and attitude but the mental part is important too because they scored late in the first half. It was a great team performance and I don't want to single out any individual performance. Everybody was great to watch. We have the momentum and we want to keep it now."

Steve Clarke: "We started slowly and got punished, and got punished by the better team. We did not get out of the blocks. At 3-0 down you are a long way from getting anything from the game. The goal gave us a glimmer of hope but we move on to the next game now. Swansea are a really good team and we knew it would be difficult and they proved that."

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Liverpool

Andre Villas-Boas: "To get a win in from a midweek league fixture is important. We benefited from a couple of results of other teams around us tonight. We're three points from third - we want to be third. Brendan feels a fair result would have been a draw - I have to agree. We did extremely well to hold on to the lead. We got the result we wanted. The players have shown great strength and character throughout the season."

Brendan Rodgers: "I don't know what Gerrard and Suarez have to do get a pen. I thought it was bordering on assault on Gerrard. We're bitterly disappointed to have lost, but if we continue to play like that we will climb the league quickly. We started OK. The free-kick [that led to the second goal] should not have been given - Clint Dempsey [who was fouled by Jordan Henderson] was clever. It wasn't to be tonight - we go away empty handed. Their striker Jermain Defoe, who has been on fire, was quiet. And apart from the first 15 minutes, both wingers were quiet."

Chelsea 0-0 Fulham

Rafael Benitez: “There’s still a long way to go and we will have chances. Remember last season when City were ahead and it was easy. Then they needed to win their last game. It’s a long, long competition. Can we still win it? Why not?"

Martin Jol: "We could have nicked it and that would have been bad for them and great for us. I'm not disappointed to only get a draw away from home, but disappointed we didn't make more of those chances. After the game, everyone said Berbatov was fantastic, and he was, but the other players worked every so hard."

Everton 1-1 Arsenal

David Moyes: "We should have had a penalty. The players had to earn everything because we weren't getting a jot. I thought we played really well against a good Arsenal team and a lot of games are decided by decisions referees make or don't make. We got nothing tonight."

Arsene Wenger: "Honestly, it didn't look like a penalty to me at all. I think a point is fair for both teams as both sides played with high commitment. Everton always looked a threat and we needed good focus and concentration not to concede a second goal. The regret we have is we could have negotiated some counter attacks better in the second half."

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United

Alex Ferguson: "It's a big moment for us. With no international football and our last [Champions League] group game next Wednesday, it gives us a further chance to concentrate on the league. We expected a tough game from West Ham - they're a very well organised, powerful team and they make it difficult for everyone. We just couldn't get that finishing goal that would have made it easier. It's unusual for us to score early and be in front. Then the big plus point for us was defensively we did very well because they are a real handful."

Sam Allardyce: "I'm not so sure, in the end, if Manchester United created another chance to score. It was a resilient performance and we had a couple of chances at the end. It was a great effort but unfortunately another defeat. I'm encouraged by fact we limited United at Old Trafford to little or no chances. I feel a bit sorry for the lads because of the way we lost."

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester City

Roberto Martinez: "From our point of view, I think we edged the game for 60 minutes. The disappointment is we couldn't get the first goal in that period. When you are just slightly ahead of the opposition you have to score and that (Kone) was a clear chance. We could have been more patient but the frustration is we couldn't find a goal. That was the only thing missing. But I loved the attitude, effort and personality that we showed. We kept showing that desire. It was a very pleasing performance from many aspects but we are still disappointed."

Roberto Mancini: "No [Mario Balotelli is not leaving]. I am happy for him because he has scored his first goal of the season, and it was an important goal. I think Mario can do better. He scored one important goal but he can continue to improve. For me, he did not play well. He did not play like I know he can. We knew before the game it would be difficult. It is the same every time we play Wigan - they play good football and they have a very good manager. The first goal was important because it changed the game... We play a lot of games in the next month, and that can change everything. After that, in February, other teams will play in the Champions League. I also think Chelsea can fight for the title. At the moment it is United and City clear at the top but the season is very long."

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