Do you think if that game was played again tomorrow, you’d win it?
Yes 100%, it’s crazy when you look at the stats after the game. If you look at the chances, nine out of 10 times we would have won it which is impressive.
What did you say to Edouard Mendy after the match?
There’s also another reason why we didn’t win maybe! I think he’s been crazy good for Chelsea, so I just said to him that was a little bit annoying that he was so good today and just praised him. If you want to win anything as a team or as a club, you need to have a fantastic ‘keeper and a very good nine and they do have a good team. Chelsea have one of the best number nines in the league in [Romelu] Lukaku and we managed to keep him quiet today and unfortunately, we couldn’t get past Mendy.
It felt like a proper derby game, did it ever cross your mind that it was an added element?
To be fair, no. For me, it was playing Chelsea, the European champions and the number one in the Premier League so that was the extra thing to this game. I think the last time we played them was back in 2017 in the FA Cup.
Even though you lost, does it almost feel like a success and a big step forward?
Yeah, you know it’s always, that’s why it’s tough to be in this world because it’s so painful but there is also an OK feeling, because we performed so well against a very good team. That gives me something to hold onto and for the players, and that builds the confidence that we can go to toe to toe with anyone and now it’s just playing, you know, the usual top-six teams. I thought this game, we 100% deserved three points. That’s how things goes and they [Chelsea] won fair and square, but you know, we were not as dominant as today and the Liverpool game was an even game with a deserved draw.
It was the last 25-30 minutes that you really started putting pressure on them. Is there a slight hint of regret?
I think when you create five big chances, you can’t ask for more. Normally when the big teams play against each other, it’s maybe one or two big chances or a lot of half-chances.
The supporters at the end staying behind at the end, even though you lost. That must make a difference?
Our fans deserve so much praise, they were amazing today, really really incredible. Of course, we were pleased and proud and I think we gave them a good performance.
One last thing on [Vitaly Janelt]? What’s the latest on him?
It’s something with his thigh, it is a little bit unknown, but I think it will be two to three weeks, but let’s see.
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