Are you relieved because Barnsley were the better team?
“Yes, I have to be honest, yes [I am relieved]. We can stop analysing it. It is already done. Chelsea are through to the quarter final, full stop. We can clearly play better, it was not our best performance. To cope with the difficulties today was hard for us. To cope with the pressure, to escape the press in our own half. We made some changes at half-time and we played better in a different structure to help the team. They did very, very well until we scored a very nice goal but after that the opponent took a lot of risk and played very aggressively. We struggled to cope with the first challenges and second balls. So, in the end, we were way too deep for too long. We were lucky in the first half to have Kepa save us and we were lucky when Tammy saved us with the header on the line. We have to admit that we struggled today but in the FA Cup it is sometimes like this. I don’t want to be too harsh on the guys in the circumstances. It wasn’t too easy but we went through and that’s the most important thing.”
Tammy Abraham made the real difference?
“Clearly yes. With his goal, you can’t leave out the pass from Billy and the run from Reece. It was a very nice goal and Tammy was on the end of a very good combination. Tammy scores decisive goals in cup games and this was another. The stop on the line was crucial for us in that moment. It was good for him because for any striker it’s important to score.
It wasn’t fair for everybody that they haven’t started. I’ve said before the match and at half time, we can not expect too much of ourselves. We have to cope with the quality of the opponent, the role that we were clear favourites and they had nothing to use, we have to cope with the lack of quality from the pitch. We arrive here with many changes and we lack a bit of rhythm and self-confidence. We can clearly do better but I don’t want to judge everybody too harshly. It was important to try hard to be better. There are things to improve but we have the win and can continue.”
How do you feel about facing Sheffield United in the next round?
“I said last Sunday [when we played them] that it felt like a cup game, they played it like one. I was very happy we adapted in the way we did and accepted that challenge because it was a very intense game. We took away a deserved win, it was hard for us to win and it will be again. It is the quarter final of the most prestigious competition in the world. I had a feeling that we would play them again, that we would have to travel to Sheffield to complete the three games in a row in this area. But we are happy to play at Stamford Bridge because it saves us a lot of travel. We will prepare for another intense game and we will be ready.”
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