Slow first half and then a professional second half?
I thought we played well with the ball and again, maybe, we just didn’t finish the opportunities we made. But I also thought they were a threat as well, on the counter-attack. I thought we got our reward and it was a good time to score just before the break and the goals in the second half saw the game out for us. There were lots of good things about how the team played.
Sevilla won three in three and then went on to win the competition, has this win changed your aims?
No, I’m keeping relatively calm because we’ve got to go to Genk away and Vienna away. I’m not going to take anything for granted. I said I want to be in Europe after Christmas. That’s my plan for this year. We need another couple of points to qualify, not to win the group but if we can get that it would be a great start. The players have done a brilliant job. They really have. We’ve not won any of them easily. They’ve all been tough. The games have been close, even though we’ve been the better team in all three of the games. We’ve got to keep working to get those extra points to make sure we qualify.
How did Daniel Chesters do and what are his attributes?
He has speed, he has trained well with the first team last week, when we were in the international break and he’d been quite impressive. We were a little bit short of attacking players today so it gave us a chance to get a couple of young players on the bench. Dan has been doing well and when he came on he showed his endeavour to stop them a couple of times. I’m really pleased for him, it is always good when you can give a young player his debut and I’m sure it was a big moment for him and his family.
How important are set-pieces at the moment and is it even more effective in Europe than the Premier League?
It may be more effective in European football. The Premier League has got a lot of strong defences, and attackers who can defend set-pieces. Up until Everton, I’m not sure we had scored this season from a set-piece, so it is not as if we have been doing it every game but thankfully we got the winning goal at Everton and tonight as well. Craig Dawson is excellent at it, Issa Diop gets a goal tonight from it as well. Our centre-halves are the players on top scoring goals at the moment so I am happy with that and long may that continue.
How surprised are you with how well you have adapted to European football?
I expect to win the games as a manager of West Ham and with the players I have got, I go into the games with that attitude. But because we’re new to it, they are new surroundings, new referees, teams we don’t know, players we’re not aware of, strengths and weaknesses, sometimes you can go in not as prepared as you’d like to be. So I am really pleased with the way the players have gone about their work. The reason to be in Europe is for the away games, we are all looking forward to going abroad. We had a great time in Zagreb and now we have to go to Genk and Vienna for the next couple of games and when you’re in Europe, that’s part of it, how you play away from home, how you handle the situation and the crowds. I hope we can take our Premier League away form into the European games in the next couple of games.
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