Coleman Quoted

Thursday 2 December 2004

...ON SATURDAY'S TEAM NEWS

"We've basically got the same squad as Tuesday night, plus Zat Knight whose suspension is finished.

"Collins John is another Reserve game away - he played ninety minutes for the Reserves in the week and did very well, but he needs one more outing before we would call on him.

"Boa will miss out this weekend, but he should be available for the United game. Claus Jensen is very close as well - United might be a bit too soon for him, but he's very close.

"We've got a few players on their way back now. Jensen, Bonnissel, who's been out long term but is close now, Boa, Collins John, they're all coming back - we'll have a better squad of players to choose from."

...ON THE PLAYERS' REACTION ON TUESDAY

"I was delighted. I wasn't happy that we lost - nobody likes to lose - but I felt like we were winners as we walked off the pitch. We'd played against the best team in the league and we'd pushed them all the way.

"I'd asked the players to show that level of enthusiasm and commitment, but we also played some really good football, made some good chances, and I was delighted with the all-round response.

"But we've got to show more consistency going forward - I've been saying that all season. We've got to show that kind of commitment week-in, week-out, and I don't think that's too much to ask from our players.

"Perhaps the Blackburn performance was a good thing in that it gave everyone a wake-up call. That performance was totally unacceptable and we went out against Chelsea, and put in a performance that was acceptable.

"The fans clapped us off after the game - we'd lost, but they knew we'd given it a go, and that's all anybody can ask."

...HOW HE REACTED TO THE BLACKBURN GAME

"We needed to get the players to relax a little bit and think about what they had to do against Chelsea. They didn't need me walking round and growling at people, but that was the kind of mood I was in. So I tried to separate myself from the players a bit.

"If you're too angry you can't get your point across. But I was delighted with the guys and we got the response we wanted - we didn't sit back, we went out and attacked Chelsea.

"What was pleasing for me was seeing our back four going back and receiving the ball from Edwin, and not running up and making him kick it seventy yards every time, which is a cop out.

"We dropped off and tried to play the ball through midfield. Everybody wanted the ball and we were making angles, and that was pleasing for me.

"Perhaps I got the tactics wrong against Blackburn - I've got to take responsibility for that. But we picked a different team and a different team shape against Chelsea, and we played really well."

...ON NORWICH

"It's going to be a really hard game. But we've got to show the same levels of commitment that we did on Tuesday night. What worried me against Blackburn was our lack of enthusiasm, but we got it back against Chelsea, and we've got to show it again on Saturday.

"Norwich haven't won many games but they don't lose a lot either. They'll be looking at us going there, and they'll be thinking they can get the three points. But we're thinking the same thing.

"There will be a lot of nerves out there. It will be the most courageous team that comes away with the points, and I hope that's us.

"It was always going to be difficult for Norwich, West Brom and Palace. But they've coped all right. They could have done with one or two more wins, but they don't lose a lot of games and they're hard to beat.

"Nigel always knew it was going to be difficult for him, but he's done a tremendous job there and he's spent next to nothing and he's got a good team."

...ELVIS HAMMOND

"He did well when he came on. He's being doing well in the Reserves, and he got a chance on Tuesday night. Andrew Cole was one of the few players who worked very hard against Blackburn, he looked a bit tired in the last twenty minutes against Chelsea, so Elvis got a chance. He came on and did well."