Houllier's Belief In Clark + Praise For The Team
Gerard Houllier has more than one reason to be chuffed with our recent result against Chelsea, it showed we have a group of players who will work for each other.
It did want to title this, 'Praise for team, Clark and Sunderland Get Bent' but I thought that would be a bit of a mouthful.
Speaking on the Official Site ahead of the Sunderland clash, Houllier took the time to praise players like Stewart Downing for filling in out of position and Ciaran Clark for stepping up to the plate and repaying the faith that was shown in him.
'Nobody thought I'd play Ciaran but I did that because you'd have to reshuffle the whole defence if you put Carlos on. That's two changes instead of one so I thought it was better to make one and support him and keep faith in him as a player. I was pleased, I knew he wouldn't panic, he rads the game well...I trust Ciaran. I trusted him to do the job and he did very well, and nearly scored.'
Houllier also added words of praise for the likes of Downing who found themselves in different positions due to the pre match injuries.
'He had to play on the right and kept Ashley Cole quiet, which is a difficult task. He also managed to be in the build up for a number of very good counter attacks.'
It seems many fans agree with that praise of Downing, as they voted him our Man of the Match with a whopping 41%.
Of greatest pleasure it seems for Houllier is a chat with a friend of his, who pointed out the progress that has been made since he joined.
'A good friend of mine who is also a supporter of the club said the main progress is that we had to replace three players between Friday and Saturday and we lost another key player during the game, and still we managed to play that sort of game.'
As for Sunderland Houllier is really looking forward to the clash and has highlighted Darren Bent as the main dangerman but he doesn't want us to lose sight of the fact that he's not the only talented player at their club.
'Usually when you are focused on one player like Darren Bent, it's the others who cause issues. We'll look after him but we have to make sure we look after the other players too. It's all the players, it's a good team and it will be a good game.'
Facts are if we play like we did against Chelsea then all three points should be ours. We all know performances have been better lately but the real test is going to come on whether we can remain consistent and start taking those chances we are currently wasting. Sunderland will be a good test of that.
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