Houllier Not Happy With What He Saw - The Verdict
Gerard Houllier has admitted that whilst he was pleased with the effort and commitment today, he was not happy with how we played against Blues.
Speaking on the Official Site following our home draw against the great unwashed, Houllier admitted that we appeared jaded and fatigued given our Extra Time fun against Burnley earlier in the week, and it had a disappointing impact on our style and quality.
'I think there are two things to take into account, we played almost two hours of football in midweek. We lacked a bit of freshness and imagination, the second factor was that the creativity was not there today.'
Gerard quickly adds that he's not sure if it's possible or normal for the 'creativity' to show itself in our local derbies due to his lack of experience when it comes to Midlands rivalry, but it's a good sign to me that he's disappointed we didn't play properly and he's admitting that, as opposed to banging on about how pleased he was about the effort.
'The brave thing would have been to face the physical aspect of the game and put the ball on the floor and play. Maybe we didn't have the physical quality for that today. So when you can't win you have to make sure you get at least a point.'
Houllier was more pleased as the game drew on, especially the final 30 minutes, but it still wasn't enough for him to be happy.
'Maybe the best chances were probably Ciaran's header and Ashley's effort at the end. That's not enough. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't happy with what I saw. In terms of effort there is nothing to complain about, it's just about the way I see our football - it wasn't there today.'
Houllier ends by giving special praise to Ciaran Clark who performed well with an experimental defensive midfield role. Houllie explained his choice as a move to help out Reo and Sidwell because of the Burnley game and provide us with a more solid backline.
'Ciaran did well, he adapted to the situation well. To put him there for the first time in a derby, all credit to him. He did very well, as did Barry Bannan when he came on.'
For some nothing less than a victory would've done for today, and yes the performance was disappointing but Burnley and injuries as excuses aside, we still had chances to win it, we had youngsters 'trusted' again - today's decision alone shows how much Houllier rates Clark - and we didn't lose.
Today proved the importance of making the right choices in January.
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