You had a lot of good opportunities but failed to make the most of them to begin with, were you getting a bit frustrated?
Yeah, I was annoyed because I thought our play warranted goals or even if it had been clear opportunities we created from it. To credit Everton they blocked a lot of shots they defended the box well when we got there and we didn’t quite show enough in the final third. It was a tough game and I thought it was always going to be.
You’ve scored 29 goals from set-pieces since you came back, that’s the best in the Premier League.
We spend a lot of time on it. Nowadays everybody’s got a set-piece coach or someone who knows.. but obviously, we want to try and be good, we have good people who want to head the ball which makes a big difference. Craig Dawson last season was great at it so as Kurt Zouma who has a record of it. Angelo Ogbonna has got a couple of goals and he got his one today. Issa Diop as well, so we have one or two who can head it and then you need somebody who can deliver it and thankfully Jarrod [Bowen] got one on the money today and we got a nice goal.
It is the first back-to-back wins for West Ham at Goodison in 90 years it feels like the progress that you’ve made that shouldn’t be a surprise.
I want the team to challenge. I want the team to play, wherever we play, to try and get the victory. I think with the players we have a good team. I think we’ve been playing well, we’ve probably in the last two games including today maybe not quite done enough in the final third and I include the Brentford game in that. But today thankfully we got the win. It is great for West Ham because we want to do well in the league and do well in Europe as well.
A lot of England players have struggled with post Euro 2020 but Declan Rice seems to be emotionally and physically as good as he was last season if not better, how did you think he was today?
It would be very hard to say how good he was. He was excellent. For me he was head and shoulders above everybody on the pitch today, he passed it, took control, wanted the ball, received the ball and tried to create opportunities. He did the dirty bits in the game when he had to do so but also had a great air of control and poise when he was on the ball. So I don’t know if I could not speak highly enough about Declan today but I would be saying that for most of the season. There have been games when I think he could have stepped up a little bit more. But there has been big improvement in Declan and obviously, that’s good for us.
What do you think Kurt Zouma has done for the other centre backs in terms of raising their game and feeling the need to step up to the level he’s now brought?
I felt by bringing Kurt in they would need to step up and I want to do it again. I want to try and raise the bar again. So the next chance I get, I know if I can bring another Kurt Zouma type player to the club then I think it will continue to keep the standards and the team doing well. I think he’s a great lad, everybody knows him, I think a lot of people know he was successful at Chelsea but I want Kurt to be under pressure by the centre-backs. We’ve got Craig Dawson and Issa Diop, they have been playing really really well in the games which we’ve played this season. So, if I ever had to pick out anybody maybe other than Declan I think the centre-halves have been on top form whichever two I have selected and today with ten minutes to go after the injury [to Tomas Soucek] we went to three at the back because we did not have Alex Kral or Mark Noble today.
Everton were angry about the awarding of the corner that led to the goal, what are your thoughts on that?
I’ve not seen it again but I think that there is a bit more contact in the game and I think we’re enjoying it more. I think the games are better to watch than they have been over the last couple of seasons because of the amount of soft decisions that have been given. I think the referees are refereeing the game much much better and I have had decisions go against me and one or two today were not great but I still think that overall the referees are doing a much better job than over the last couple of seasons.
Have you worked on the bounce-back-ability after defeats?
I think my record here at Everton we did not lose too many back-to-back games, or if we did we tried not to. So I think that to have success you’ve got to try and do it. It will happen of course, it happened last year at times but overall you’re desperately trying to build on it. We had really long week after we lost to Brentford in the last minute but today to get a 1-0 win at Goodison was a great result against a team who were playing really well this season and are certainly hard to beat.
You kept a clean sheet today. Is that the aim to keep clean sheets on a regular basis?
Yes, we have been disappointed that we’ve been conceding goals and I did not like that we conceded two a fortnight ago, but I have to say that today was a good clean sheet that we have to build on. We need to get more as the season goes on to be successful. We’re going to have to be better at it. I thought today we were better at it. It was a tough away game and I think all the players contributed to getting that clean sheet.
How is Tomas Soucek after his injury?
He’s actually split his lip which is getting stitched and there is a cut down his cheek and nose. I think the stitches going into his lip would be the bit that worries me. I think the others are grazes and he is going to have a really bad looking face for a few days but overall I do not think it is looking too bad.
Can you give us an update on Kral, Noble and Coufal? Will they be back for the Europa League game?
Alex Kral tested positive [for Covid-19] but has been injected [with the vaccine] he’s had his injection. So it was a strange one for us that he tested positive on Thursday. Mark Noble has a grumbly hip so we just felt that a grumbly hip wasn’t worth risking at the moment because of the amount of games we’ve got coming up so I’d expect Nobes with a bit of luck to be back in training maybe tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest. Vladimir has taken an injection he had a bit of discomfort in his pubis. He has had an injection in there, he got the injury in the Man United cup game and he has been carrying it for a few weeks.
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