Managers: Benitez dismay over Coloccini challenge on Ba
All the managerial reaction from around the Premier League as Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez claims Fabricio Coloccini should have been sent off for breaking Demba Ba's nose with a boot in Newcastle's 3-2 win at St James' Park.
Martin Jol: "We did well in midfield and at the back. It was one of our better performances this season. But they are capable of creating something out of nothing, as Rooney did. Now, I think they will win (the league). Hopefully it is not a long one. We did well to get the lights on (after the floodlights failed before half-time). Normally it takes a long time. I feared when we came back our concentration was down and we would end up conceding a goal but it wasn't a problem."
Sir Alex Ferguson: "It was similar to when we played here a few years ago when Cristiano Ronaldo scored near the end and we went on to have an undefeated run after that. It was well taken and Rooney was unlucky before that, hitting the post and having a couple of shots saved by the goalkeeper. (The criticism) has not fazed (keeper David De Gea), for sure. He enjoyed this game. We've said that to him - (goalkeeping coach) Eric Steele in particular - to enjoy playing here. It's a challenge and it's not easy for a young goalkeeper, but he's enjoyed tonight."
Alan Pardew: "Sissoko, I don’t really need to say anything about him I think his performance said it all. You bring players to the club, I remember watching him for Toulouse and I came away that night, this was, must be 14 months ago or whatever and I thought he’s definitely the one for us if we can get him and we have watched him and looked at him for a long time. We had set our sights on him early, which was a good thing and we have accelerated it because he was going to come in the summer, hopefully, but we have had to do it now and my God his paying us back handsomely.”
Rafael Benitez: "If the players show the character that they showed in the second half, it means something is right. If we cannot control these games, it is something we have to improve. With some players: David Luiz, [Eden] Hazard, [John] Obi Mikel and Victor Moses coming back that gives us more options and maybe we can have fresh legs on the pitch. When we are in form and doing well, we can beat anyone. We are doing a good job in terms of what you can see on the pitch so we're doing well. The team has great team spirit and I'm confident that the team will finish in the top three. I felt the reaction of the team in the second half was fantastic, We scored great goals, we had more chances but we made the mistake to allow them to play on the counterattack. We have to improve, but we couldn't change the situation of Demba Ba. It was a penalty and a red card for me. In the middle of the park it's just carry on, go back, free kick. In the penalty area it's carry on, go back, penalty and red card. It changed the game, we lost a player to a broken nose. It's something to consider. In other circumstances, everyone would be talking about this."
David Moyes: "I'd like to say I didn't think we should be in that position (3-1 down) but we were because we defended poorly - the defending let us down. If anyone doesn't think Benteke, (Charles) N'Zogbia and Agbonlahor can't cause you problems then they're wrong and you have to be ready for that. We were ready but we didn't just deal with it that well. I had a strange feeling today we might have to score four goals to win it. I hoped I was going to be wrong but it was the way it panned out but it wasn't for the lack of effort from the players. With the week we've had - Bolton away in the cup, at home to West Brom and then Aston Villa - if at the start of the week you'd given me a win in the cup and four points I might have taken it."
Paul Lambert: "I thought we deserved to win the game. You are never going to get an easy game here but it is disappointing to only get a point. It is a really tough place to come and three points would have been great but I thought we played ever so well. I can't fault the way the lads played and there are not many teams that come up here and beat them. David (Moyes) has a really good side but if we continue to play like that hopefully we will start to get results. I am sick of talking about conceding goals from corners. They defended so well but Fellaini has scored important goals for them and when the corner comes into the box, Ron (Vlaar) has got him and then he loses him."
Brian McDermott: "Jimmy Kebe is becoming phenomenal in the air. I was so pleased for him because he is such a brave player both physically and mentally. He wants to get on the ball and I think the first goal was fabulous. He wins headers and is good in the air, that was a great finish today. Ian Harte has put it in there and Jimmy has had to finish it off and he was brave. It was late in the game as well so it is difficult to come back at that stage. There is no secret, I didn't all of a sudden after Christmas do something different. I personally had to learn about this league, I had to have the experience for this league and I didn't have it. But I have learnt quickly, the players learnt quickly and the staff have learnt quickly. We had to find a way to win and we have done that. It has been a steep learning curve for all of us."
Martin O'Neill: "Naturally I'm disappointed to concede so late in the game, particularly on the back of a couple of really good chances we had ourselves. I thought Reading started better than us and got a goal in front, but we started to come into the game a bit more before we scored the penalty. In the second half, as the game was to-ing and fro-ing, I thought we looked in reasonable control. Anything can happen, of course, but we have had some really decent to chances to go and score - had we done so it might have been a long way back for Reading."
Harry Redknapp: "Chris Samba was fantastic today. He's not played since November. We asked him how he was and he said he was about 40 per cent fit. If that's 40 per cent, I don't know what he'll be like when he's 100 per cent. He was outstanding. Andros Townsend had an outstanding game. People keep talking about big money - I think he's on about £3,000 a week. I think we'll get good value out of him. Absolutely brilliant today. Never stopped working. He's a young player with a big future. I couldn't have asked for more. We just needed a break.They gave everything. We just need to turn draws into wins and you don't get a better opportunity than we had today. We're unbeaten since the turn of the year so we've just got to keep going."
Chris Hughton: "From our point of view it was a point well earned. I know we've had to save a penalty but I think on the balance of play, and being away from home, then most definitely it was well deserved. Any point away from home in the Barclays Premier League is a big point, and these are a team that are striving to get away from that bottom three and they've bought very, very well."
Arsene Wenger: "I said already before the West Ham and Liverpool games, that we are in a position where we cannot drop points. We dropped two points against Liverpool but we couldn't do it again today. What is more important is the quality of performances is there. The spirit is there. The target to be in the top four and to focus on the two cups we are still in is very important now as we have strengthened our belief and our confidence. They made it difficult for us. They were organised, defended very deep. We didn't find the space but we kept going and, while we are a bit lucky with the goal, we deserved this win. We had chances, their 'keeper made a lot of saves. We played in their half a lot and overall I think we deserved to win the game."
Tony Pulis: "I think Arteta's challenge was a poor challenge, but Michael (Owen, who apprently threw a punch off the ball) should not do that. That should be left to the referee and I think if you look at Glenn Whelan's challenge on Santi Cazorla, it is a really good challenge and plays the ball. But not only has Chris given a free-kick but he has also booked Glenn, which was disappointing. Arsenal are a great side with great players - they brought Cazorla and Podolski on. They are a fabulous team with fabulous players. We'll see what they say. Obviously I am going to be biased as it is my football team. I have seen the challenge, I think it poor and should be a free-kick. If Michael has done what he has done and they look at it, then they will deal with it."
Roberto Martinez: "You have to be (relieved) because Southampton got a very good momentum in the second half and when they get the second goal that late in the game it's going to be very difficult not to be affected by dropping points that you felt you had. I was very pleased with the reaction we had, the character and the desire to want to get a positive result, so in that respect I'm very pleased, even though I don't think we performed in the manner we want to or with the fluency we normally have. Scoring the first goal should give you a confident feeling but you could feel the crowd was getting very anxious and all of a sudden it became an exercise of something to lose rather than something to gain. We wanted the game to end then, and the way we finished the first half reflected that. Southampton pressed us really well, I think they're a very well-drilled team and they deserve huge credit but obviously from our point of view we need to understand that getting a goal lead should be something we can use in our favour. But we never accepted defeat and I think we got a very positive result. We managed to rescue a point and that could be very important at the end of the season."
Mauricio Pochettino: "I am frustrated, the same as the rest of the boys, because the team played a great match. The effort that the team put in, they deserved the victory today. It could be two victories and one draw. That's football. Sometimes you have luck and sometimes you don't have luck. But you have to work to produce your own luck. At Old Trafford we had two very different halves, raising our game a lot in the second half. I think in the last 10 minutes of the first half today we started to play the same way that we did all through the second half on Wednesday."
Sam Allardyce: "He (Andy Carroll) should (get back in for England). As long as he can stay fit between now and the end of the season, get as many games as he can (he will). There is a lot more to come from Andy. If he produces better performances than he has today, and if he builds his goal tally up, finishes the season on a high, it will be great for us and it will be great for him. At the start of the season it was disappointing for him because of the injuries, but hopefully he can finish the season on a high. We were under big pressure today to produce a result. I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. The way we've been playing at home has been fantastic all year. It brought us the victory, but it was a shame it wasn't by more."
Michael Laudrup: "We dominated quite well in the first half. They gave us more or less what we expected. We had the ball more, but they played direct and we know how good Carroll is in the air. Inside the box he's very dangerous. We could have won 1-0 or it could have been 1-1. After they scored we came back, had a few chances to equalise, but we just have to accept it. We're very difficult to beat. Nobody likes to lose. We're not used to losing after the last seven weeks."