On the result:
“Delighted for the fans. Coming down here, they can’t even get a train. How the hell are they getting home? Nobody knows! I think a few might stay in London and have a really good night. I hope so. The support can never be taken for granted. We played poorly last week. The dramatisation of it – or whatever you want to call it – is what makes our club great. Very, very difficult to manage, but it’s what makes it what it is – with passion about everything.
“What you want is to produce a performance, the team to roll up their sleeves and play as if they mean to play. It’s all right setting something up, tactically and organisation-wise – they’ve got to go and perform. They’ve performed fantastically well. We needed a bit of courage and thankfully the players had that from the first whistle. We have tried to quieten the storm. Hopefully that will shut a few people up a little bit. After two games, it’s been hard to get that criticism. We have had to ride it.
“I hope that gives us a little a bit of time. It is only the first win but we have seen some big performances today. They only thing you can do is show that it means something to play for the club.A lot of the players have only been here for a matter of weeks and it takes time to get used to the Premier League. I am delighted that Joelinton got the goal today. We played him a lot better today, it worked and he will be delighted to get the goal. He was a handful all game. He was terrific in his attitude and workrate towards it. It fell for him and he stuck it away great. The kid was absolutely out on his feet. He’s fine but he was exhausted.”
Days like today, you remember it for a long time.
The way they’ve worked all week and the way they played today, they deserved that. Some of the stuff… we can’t do a warm up? It must have been OK today! It’s really embarrassing, some of the stuff. The only way you can respond is with a performance like that, where the discipline and shape is there for everyone to see. It’s something we’ve worked on all week.
Against one of the top teams in Europe, we’ve come here to a fantastic stadium with a wonderful manager – all of that stuff. I always thought this could be a game where we could show them what we could do.
I think that’s what the Premier League is. We’ve had a tough week so the one thing you have to do is respond in the right way and thankfully the players have done that. Of course, I think everyone’s drained but it wasn’t just the match, it was the cricket before! It had everyone on edge!
It’s OK talking about tactical stuff and discipline but they’ve got to go out there on the pitch and perform in the way they did. From the first minute to the 90th minute they were brave in what they did. Of course we rode our luck a little bit but we deserved it.
I’m delighted for my staff but more importantly for my players, who responded in the right way”.
“It’s too. Saint-Maximin is a recurrence of a hamstring, and that’s a nightmare for us unfortunately. The other ones, we’re not too worried about, although whether they’re going to be ready for Wednesday is another big call. “Certainly Saint-Maximin is the most difficult one because he’s had a recurrence of a hamstring, which is a shame for him. Big Joe has run himself to a standstill I think. Jamaal has got a calf injury, but we don’t think it’s too serious.”
“He’s only been at the club a month. I thought we could play to his strengths better because if you get the ball in to him, you can be pretty direct with him. He’s got a left foot and a right foot, and when you come for a lot of money and you’re a centre-forward, you want to get off the mark and score. He had a big chance against Norwich, but today, his touch and the way he’s taken it, was excellent. I’m delighted for him. For every centre forward, they thrive off a goal. He worked tirelessly all game, we have to play to his strengths, which is something we worked on in the week. He likes the ball up to him, he’s a big physical, powerful threat”.
“I think we all understand criticism, but for me, a lot of it has been unjust and unfair, but the only thing you can quieten the storm is always to find a performance and a result. Nobody gave us a hope in hell’s chance, let’s be brutally honest, but the way they’ve performed defensively and on the counter-attack too was great to see. I’m delighted for the supporters, we can’t take them for granted. I’ve managed 900 odd games and over 20 years you think there’d be some sort of respect but some of the stuff labelled at you. I do go back to the fact that whoever was going to replace Rafa was going to have a tough time and certainly the easiest thing would have been to say no but I’m as determined as I’ve ever been to take the club forward”.
On VAR and the penalty decision:
“I didn’t think it was a penalty. The referee didn’t. And neither did the #VAR. We got the right decision”.
On Paul Dummett:
“He was terrific. He put his head on everything that came into the box. He is a typical Geordie and he has a right good go”.
On the Cricket:
“It took over in the dressing room for half an hour! Fantastic, fantastic win but I think that win beats it for me! Don’t we all love Ben Stokes? He can play centre forward alongside big Joe for me next week!”
Moving on from Rafa:
“I hope so. If there’s one thing you can’t expect, it’s taking anything for granted. I’ve learned that. We’ve had a good week, we’ve got a big, important week ahead. The international break looms but hopefully that’ll give the doubters a little shove. We’ll just keep our feet on the ground”.