Were you pleased with the performance?
Pleased with the result because of course 4-1 away from home gives you a good space for any possible mistake that you can make in the second leg. I think we have one foot in the next round. The result is of course very good. I liked the performance in the first half, when we had that intensity, that quality, we were very very good in the 1st half. Then in the second half a mistake in possession made the game a little bit different, because it gave Wolfsberger that little bit of confidence and self esteem to fight in the second leg for a better result than the one in the first half, because in the first half it looked like the game could end five or six. But their goal brought them to the game. They had a great chance for 2-3. But then again I believe our changes they gave of course fresh legs, new intensity to the team, and in the last 20 minutes we had so many chances. And we managed to score one more goal that definitely gives a 4-1 result that is very good.
Was Son coming off just to rest him?
Son played 90 minutes against West Brom, and 120 against Everton, 90 against City, and today I just asked him to do his job, and his job was to help us a little bit to get through this match. So I believe 3-0, scoring his goal, which for him is a special goal, he is a very sensitive special kid, emotional kid, so he is the last winner of the Puskas Award, and to come here to the Puskas Arena, and score a goal for him has a really special feeling. Job done. Goodbye. Let Vinicius play. Vinicius is a very hard-working guy, always ready to help the team when we need, so it was always fair for Vinicius to have 45 minutes and to score his goal.
What do you make of Bale and Dele’s performances?
The televisions, they made me the same question before the game, and after the game, and before the game and after my answer was the same: the objective here is to win, and i am looking to the team performance and not to individuals. This is not an exam for anyone. The Tottenham players are good enough to not be in exams. So we had the result, we had the team performance, and for the team to win and to perform is only possible when the team and the players they do their jobs. So, I believe so, I believe they were positive like the team was positive. I took Gareth off because I know that in this process it’s not so easy for him to play the 90 minutes, because the team at that time needs a little bit more freshness, which Lamela gave us. And in Dele’s case, he worked hard, he got a yellow card, when you have a yellow card, and with the referee showing so easily yellow cards to us, it was always a risk, but he managed to stay on the pitch, and was also a little bit of Tanguy because I thought that Tanguy would come fresh and unbalance things to our side again. So overall I’m happy with everyone, including the two players that you asked me.
Is Harry Kane ok and will he be able to play on Sunday against West Ham?
I believe so, but experienced guy that had injuries in the past, he knows his body better than anyone. He knows that I want him to play every minute of every game, so it’s never a question of a choice. I wanted to come here with the best team and the players that could give us more opportunities to win the game and get a good result, but he made the decision based on his feelings. His feelings were that to play this game could be a risk with the accumulation of minutes and the accumulation of minutes after the injury that he had. Of course myself and the medical department, we agreed with him in giving him this opportunity to take care of his condition, but I believe on Sunday he will be OK and ready.
You said after the Chelsea game that your players needed this competition to restart, do you believe this competition could reinvigorate the whole season for the club?
First of all we have a final to play in our pocket. It’s there and it has a zip. The zip is closed. We only open the zip on the 25th of April, but we have a final to play and for us that final is very important. The Premier League, only in the last match you make the accounts or the maths, and you see where you finish, like it happened last season when I arrived and we were close to the relegation zone and then we were right until the last minute of the last match to qualify. The Europa League is a competition that a lot of teams want to win. Lots of teams want to win it. I believe in a not fair way it’s also a competition that some teams that were knocked out of the Champions League they want to win it. I always felt that the Champions League for the teams that qualified for the Champions League and Europa League for the teams that qualify for the Europa League, but it is the rules as we have to respect the rules but these teams that drop from the Champions League to the Europa League they become favourites. Not just them but lots of teams that they think they can win it. Just looking to our country, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester for sure all of them want to win and all of them think they can. Then you go to many other countries and you find very good teams with similar ambitions so it’s a very difficult competition to win. Lots of matches. In our case this was match number 10. Six in the group stage, three to qualify and this in the knockouts and we are still in the last 32. So imagine how many matches we have to play if we want to arrive at Gdansk in the final, but we are going to try match after match.
Is Gareth Bale ready to start on Sunday?
One of the reasons why he left the pitch by minute 65 was to try to have him available for the next match because one of the things that is not easy related to his condition is the accumulation of minutes. So by taking him off at that minute we managed to save him a few miles in his legs and probably, I know the match is Sunday at 12pm, but I believe he has a chance to play the match. Let’s wait, he is the kind of player that his experience, his feelings is a very important thing, like Harry Kane, we have to trust these players and their knowledge of their body and their feelings. I believe for him it was important for him to play but not play the 90 minutes.
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