Houllier Post Carling Cup Match Reaction
Gerard Houllier told www.avfc.co.uk that he was happy with the character shown by the team to come back from 1-0 down to see off Blackburn Rovers in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup.
He also praised the fans for sticking with the team when they were down. Something that surprised (albeit delighted) me as the song 'what the f*** is going on) after about 35 minutes I thought was embarrassing!
He said the players tried in the first half but 'There was no flow in our game, no fluency, but I changed the system in the second half and I thought it suited the players more. I did not feel down at half-time. I have seen the team a bit in training and I thought it was a matter of getting ourselves into the game. Don't forget, practically half the team which played against Bolton didn't play in this one, which means that competition for places is good.'
Changes at half time? Different tactics? Substitutions before the last ten minutes? I think I'm going to like this manager!
He also told the players they had to take a risk in the second half and 'try something' ... which to be fair they did and especially when Emile Heskey came on. Yup, I did just say that!
On Heskey Houllier said: 'I know what he can do. I saw a few things in training which indicated he was in good form. With Emile it is a matter of confidence, like all strikers.'
On Gabby he explained he was brought off with tight calves and Ciaran Clark due to a dead leg (apparently Stephen Ireland also had one which kept him from playing)
Oh and he also praised the fans on the ITV league show... and on the official site said he was concentrating so much on the game it took him a while to realise the Holte End were calling for a wave!
'I didn't hear that really. One of my staff said I had to wave. But when you are on the bench in the dugout you are so focused on the game and I couldn't hear what they were saying. But they said you have to wave so I did. They were good. They booed us at half-time but they kept supporting us.'
I would point out to those who weren't there (many thousands sadly) that only a minority booed.
He also said that things will take time to improve, 'Don't get me wrong I am aware of some areas we have to improve and we will - but it will take time. It's better to start with a win. There's a few areas I would like to change but I am not a magician. I am pleased for my staff as well - my new staff - it's their first win too.'
Official site match report: www.avfc.co.uk
Full quotes: www.avfc.co.uk
Stats: Click Here