What are your thoughts on the performance and how much of a role do you think Vladimir Coufals’s red card played in the eventual result?
I did not think an awful lot of our performance generally I thought Arsenal played well with good intensity. We weren’t quite able to deal with it at the start or the second half in fact but we showed a lot of resilience to hang in the game, to stick in the game, and be right in there. But a couple of really poor bits of play which led to the goals, poor defending on both occasions and we gave the ball away for the second goal when we were a little bit in the ascendancy even with 10 men, so we’ were trying to hang in so that was the disappointing part of the second half.
What did you think of the decision to show Vladimir a second yellow card? Looking at looking back at it, it looks like he gets the ball first.
He does get the ball first but I thought he should get more of the ball. I thought he should have either tackled the ball away toe-poked it away, get his foot to it or get his foot to the back of the ball with a block tackle. But his timing means he catches the top of the ball and follows through so I think that was why Anthony Taylor had a reason to think about the decision. We made a mess of it to get to that point because the header was a calamity, but I thought that Vladimir could have got more of the ball, either kicking it out for a throw-in or blocking tackling the ball.
No real issue with the decision then?
It is the ref’s decision and we give him an opportunity to choose one, which he has a right to say whether he thinks it is or not and this one went against us. But the goalkeeper made a brilliant save from it and it gave us momentum to go again. I thought we did show momentum after that thought we did try to have a go then. But as I said the second goal, the way it was given away it was probably heartbreaking for the boys who ran for the best part 90 minutes.
You were missing some key players tonight, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Zouma. Do you think that those missing those players affected your game plan and the outcome?
Well, I think that Arsenal are in a good place at the moment. I think they are playing well, I think they have very few injuries. I think they have not ahd the level of games that we have had regarding the European games. So I think has helped them keep a settled team at the moment.
We’ve lost three or three of the back four, possibly four if you can include Ben Johnson in that as well so you have to say that for us to come here and put on the best we can and that’s the way it is. But we’ve got other areas of the field which aren’t performing well enough, but I do think that who wouldn’t miss Cresswell, Zouma and Angelo and Ben Johnson, I think all four of them in their own right could have been starting tonight.
Are the injuries making you think about the transfer window next month? Do you think you will be busy trying to replace some of those players?
I don’t know if we’ll be busy but I would like to try not to add to it but I don’t know if I’ll be busy I have no idea.
Did you feel that you were able to get the support and the service up to Michail Antonio tonight?
Not as much as we wanted, I did not think we played the ball through and forward as well as we have done in other games. But I still felt that when Michail did get it his retention levels weren’t as good as they should have been. I think that we needed to play the ball through and into him more often but what we needed to do that to all the forward players and we did not.
Lacazette got in between Declan Rice and your back two.
I think they are very good at it and Lacazette does it very well several teams are playing a false nine or dropped in nines. But I think for their goal if our full back had narrowed and been in a proper full-back position we would have stopped the gaol but we allowed them through to get in that space. We ave up the space which should never have been given up.
You said that you don’t know if you’re going to be busy in January or not. But obviously, it’s a difficult period now lots of games and you’re suffering with those defensive injuries. Is it a case of getting through the next couple of weeks and then taking stock?
Yeah, I totally agree. But you’ve got to remember tonight we went into this game in fourth. I don’t know where we are now and I don’t know where we’ll be but it’s a great position for us. We were not in this strong a position this time last year so there have been good signs that we’ve made improvement all those players in the early part of the season have performed brilliantly well. But we’re in a time where we are just not playing as well as we can do. The injuries haven’t helped either, which is making us change and look at other things. So I think there are some real good reasons why maybe we’re not playing quite at our best. But if we can add and we think we can bring people in who can make a difference in January we’ll try and do so and if not, then no, we’ll wait and we’ll go with what we’ve got and hopefully everybody [will] come back and get fit shortly.
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Any chance Ryan Fredericks or Ben Johnson are back for Norwich at the weekend, and how worried are you about fatigue because it did look a bit of a tired performance.
Yes I agree, I think that Arsenals’ intensity made it look a bit like that. I thought Arsenal were very intense.
I’m hoping that maybe Ryan or Ben or Cressie [Aaron Cresswell] can get themselves available for us. It would help us in a period where we have some injuries and it looks like all the full-backs in the main are the ones getting injured or sent off as it was the case tonight.