What is the overwhelming emotion after that? Elation to get back in the top four? Relief to hold on?
A bit of both. I am disappointed with the way we finished the game in the last 20 to 30 minutes. I thought for 50 or 60 minutes we played really well, 3-0 up and maybe could have been 4-0 up so a little bit disappointed with that. But we have to get out of the habit of going 3-0 up and conceding goals after that, I don’t want that and I made the players well aware of it.
How much of a concern is that in terms of game management?
That is really important. The first time it happened, against Arsenal, it was a surprise and then last week when it happened and now today again so we have got to do something about it. We are a little bit short on personnel for altering things or doing things differently but if you gave me 3-2 before the game against a team that is third in the league, going for the Champions League and in the semi-final of the FA Cup I would have snapped your hand off.
I have not spoken to the medical yet about it but when I get the chance I will find out. But obviously, we don’t want to lose any of our key players because we already have one or two out at the moment.
Just how crucial is Jesse Lingard for the run-in and keeping you in the top four positions?
Well, he has been crucial before that. He has come in and helped the team greatly in the way he has played and also his attitude around the club, it has lifted us up. I didn’t expect Jesse to probably get as many goals so I am really thrilled with the amount of goals he is getting at the moment and long may it continue.
How is Mark Noble? What was his injury and what did you make of his performance?
He got a bad kick on the elbow so his elbow is bad so we will need to see how he is and look Mark has done brilliantly well. He has come into the team and as I said at the start of the season I thought Mark would have a big part to play, he has a huge part to play because he does so many good things for the team. Obviously, we can’t hide the fact that we miss Declan [Rice] and Micky Anotnio but we have to find other ways of winning and I have to say Mark has come in and done a great job.
How good is it to have the mentality of the likes of Mark and Jesse and people like Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek who have been there before?
That is the thing I am looking for too. Vladimir and Tomas for example have played in a winning team, for most of their career in the Czech Republic, Jesse has played for Manchester United and for many years has always been challenging up near the top of the league so I am hoping the experience these boys have got will help us. It is a completely new place for us to be in but it is a really good place to be in and we are enjoying it.
Were you frustrated your players were dropping too deep onto the edge of your box?
It was a bit of that and a bit of not maintaining possession well enough and not making the right choices when they had the ball, but we dropped away and from a game where we went 3-0 up and looked quite comfortable we actually turned it into a 3-2 win and we should not have got ourselves into that position. I am disappointed we did because it did not feel as if it was going in that direction but we gave away a goal which gave them a little bit of encouragement and it encouraged us to play deeper and see it out. But I think the memories of the last couple of games where we lost three goals against Arsenal and two against Wolves from the same position, so I am disappointed with that but overall I am thrilled to get the results we have had especially this week they have been big results
Do you look at it one game at a time or do you look at the fixture list?
We face teams in the top four and teams below but overall we are into the period now where you take one game at a time, this is new for us and new for this club for a long time being up there. It sounds great that people are even considering us that we could be Champions League contenders and I think that in itself is making the league exciting. It is a great time for West Ham supporters as we want to try and do it. We want to try and be in European football of some sort and I think if we do that it would be a great achievement.
How powerful is the sense that things are happening here?
We have got momentum and a feeling of comfort in how we can play and what we can do. It might not have shown in the latter periods of the games but there is a real belief that we can go and win the games and we have got players who can do that. I would not say we are taking big risks but I think we are now in the business of saying ‘why don’t we take a few risks and see what happen’ and we may lose a couple of games because of it but I think that is the way we have been and we are trying to go for it as much as we can.
Is it important to keep the mindset as ‘ great to be here’ rather than ‘ we have something to lose now’?
I would love for the season to finish now because if it did it would be a great season for us. I think we are having a really good season at the moment and I don’t think you would say it has been a fluke. My biggest concern would be we really can’t afford to lose too many more players through injury because it will affect our performances as we go along. But I am hoping while we have them out, the players who have come in have done great and the momentum and togetherness might help drag us through and get us a few results. Even today late on we were able to stick together and see it through.
Jesse’s first goal does that sum up his confidence right now?
Jesse is getting the goals and it is a bit like talking about being in the mood and in the moment, Jesse at the moment is in a really good place and a really good position to score and he is trying to score and we want him to score. We were without Micky Antonio today and we needed somebody to stand up and get us the goals but I have got to say that both him and Jarrod did a great job. I think Jesse’s confidence at the moment is so good and he is helping the team and helping us along and we hope he is enjoying it as well.
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