How did you see the performance?
We came to the best team in the country and the way Man City are playing probably the best team in Europe and I thought we gave them a really good game.
We were always in the game and you need the moments to go for you and to be able to take the moments when you get them and we just didn’t quite take that moment right at the end to get a chance to get a draw out of it.
Performance wise if we play like that between now and the end of the season we’ll give ourselves a chance to get near the top.
Did the move for Antonio’s goal typify the belief with the ball you want to see from your players against the likes of Manchester City?
I have been saying for weeks I think we have more improvement to come and I still think that but today we showed good signs that some of that is getting better and we had to try and pass the ball out against a really good side in Manchester City who press you well.
Overall I think if we continue to improve, we stepped up today, then I think the players will give themselves a good chance of finishing in the top half of the league.
How does a performance like that impact the mood inside the dressing room?
I believe that good performances lead to good results. There were a few games where we have not performed very well, where we have got good results which you need during the season, you need that to go for you at times. But today we had a good performance but probably didn’t get the result to go with it.
When I see the result if we had got a point from it there would have been no complaints but Man City are a really good side. Their two centre-halves got the goals today for them and we had to try and hang in there but it is great credit to our players for how well they performed in the game.
Is there anything you could have done about either goal?
Yeah, I am disappointed with the first goal. The ball seems to travel it looked like about 30 or 40 yards by the time he headed it in and I hoped we would have dealt with it better.
Either headed it away or [the goalkeeper] comes to claim it but ultimately it was De Bruyne who made the pass and we know the abilities of some of the players City have got to put the ball on a sixpence and he did that.
How is Darren Randolph and when do you expect to have Lukasz Fabianski back?
Darren Randolph is just back from a thigh injury that kept him out for a month or so and he has only been back in training a week or two and he just felt it in the second half again.
Lukasz picked up a minor injury in training. One of the players accidentally stood on his arm and it caused a problem yesterday. I am hoping he is going to be back [soon], I can’t be sure when, we need to see how he recovers and take stock.
We don’t play again until Monday so it gives us a little bit longer to get those players recovered.
Did you prove out there you deserve to be around the top teams at the table? How far can you go this season, what is realistic for you?
If it had been 2-2 I would have been in here talking slightly different because I would have said ‘what a result’ but what I am saying now is what a good performance we put in, we didn’t get the point to go with it or the points to go with it but we have come and shown that we can challenge nearly all the teams and we have tried to make it difficult for them.
Whether that be Manchester City, Liverpool or Manchester United we have tried to do what we can and today we played with a lot more composure and we played with more self-belief and we need to add that to our game if we are going to improve and stay at the top.
I hope it gives the players confidence because I thought they played well today.
Vladimir Coufal looked absolutely distraught at the end is there a real sense in the squad they can do something special over the remaining games of the season?
Yeah, he is a great character Vladimir and thinks we should be winning all of the games. It doesn’t really matter who he comes up against he is going to try and do the best he can.
He has been great for us and he is a terrific player but also a terrific boy to have around and that is the sort of thing that goes through the squad and through the players is a great self-belief.
We are not getting carried away as we have just lost a game so I can’t be talking too highly about how it is when we have lost but I want to praise the players for how well they have done against probably the best team in Europe and certainly the best team in the Premier League but the players put on such a good show.
You got into some good positions today but couldn’t quite make them count:
Yeah, that is probably one of the reasons we have introduced Jesse Lingard because we are trying to improve. we had good opportunities and chances where we could have finished better and we gave them up so that is one of the things where we can improve.
That final thing where we can do it better, technically better, choosing the right pass and the right timing of the pass as well. There is lots we can improve on and if we can do that then we will keep going in the right direction.
What has Lingard brought to your team?
Jesse has brought us quality, over the years he has shown his level and I think because he can play several roles, wide, as a ten, as a forward as an out and out nine if we needed him. He can play as a midfield player as well. He takes the ball and is someone who opens the games up and those things that I talked about with the improvements where we needed something else, I think Jesse has given us it.
He has helped the players around him as well because he is very good at taking the ball and running us out of trouble and building the play up.
The balance of the team and the balance of the squad where we had too many of the same type of player. We wanted to add some energy to the team and give us more speed and we have done that.
I have a picture in my head of the next part of the balance of the team I want but I think the balance of the team has got better.
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Antonio becoming a centre-forward has helped us as well, with his goals and the way he plays for the team. but we need to watch that we are not too reliant on him.
Today was the game where we have had more people out than at any part of the season. We had four or five people out, but all season we have been very good [on the injury front] so it just shows how good the people are who have come into the squad and how well they are doing.
Darren Randolph has come in, Ben Johnson has come in, so the squad is in a really good place at the moment.