Did you always feel there was a chance you were going to get back into it?
Yeah I did have that feeling but the reality is when you play against the best team in Europe, the moment you give them something you’er going to make the game so difficult for you. To start the way we did conceding the goal and the way we did it, you have to be exceptional for the rest of the game and you have to nail it in every single department – and we didn’t do it. We had some really good moments and moments where we matched them up and made it tough for them but the reality is when we break them and find the open spaces to attack them we lacked the final pass and quality to score two or three goals.
You stayed in the game and they weren’t able to score more?
That was my worry because the formation the players that they used today there’s nothing worse than going behind early. Because it puts the game exactly where they want it, with time on the ball, creating overloads with the false nine anywhere they want on the pitch. And you become impatient and frustrated and I thought that the team reacted really well to that and we gave them a real game. At the moment they are best team because they dominate every single department and credit to them because they are incredible.
In your recent games there’s been quite a high line for your team to exploit. Do you feel like you’re maximising that and what can you do to maximise those players getting in behind?
Well I think we did it and got into some great positions but after we had finished the actions better than what we did today, we created some great openings against Benfica as well. You have to so good when you generate the chances because you’re not going to generate many.
Why were you so vocal during the game?
Because every movement, every detail, every position is key. The moment you don’t get it like we didn’t in the first 10 minutes they’re going to explode straight away and make you look a poor team. And then probably I do it too much I don’t know but I think it’s very necessary to give them guidance because I can see from the outside what they’re going to do and when you’re there 100 miles per hour sometimes you miss a second or two and with them that’s a huge amount of time.
Do you worry that you’re overloading them with information?
No, I don’t think that’s the case. It’s a conversation we have with them all the time and the moment I think that’s the case I will stop it.
How important do you think this period is?
The schedule that we have is really demanding. We have no time to recover, very little time to prepare for a game. For example against City we did not prepare the game on the field because we did not have enough time but we have to get used to it. We have an extra day now for Thursday then we have go to Leicester but the players you know they’re trying, they want to be as best as they can and best possible way for every single possible match and this is what they’re doing.
What happened with Holding? Did you implore the concussion substitute?
Well obviously that’s a call that has to be given by the doctor, that’s the communication we got with him so then we decided to make the concussion sub.
You think it was?
Yeah, that’s what they told me. If that’s the case then I think he will miss a few days.
How hard are you finding managing the squad through this period?
It’s hard because everybody wants to play and be available for every game. If anything it’s just feeling sorry for the players that they cannot play or they’re not playing more but everybody is doing their best to be all the time available which I value a lot. It is true that there a lot of players with fatigue who have played so many minutes and we do not have enough players to replace them unfortunately.
Do you think you’ll have to make another five changes to play against Benfica?
I don’t know if it will five, four or seven. We will have to see how they react from today’s performance. It was a really tough game physically probably because it was full gas and we’ll see who’s available and fit to be there and obviously we need a fresh team, we need legs as well because then the decision making becomes better when they are fresh.
11 defeats in the Premier League does it make the Europa League more important than it was before?
It’s always been really important but obviously every defeat now in the league will put us in a difficult position. We have to take it game, we need a run of games and I think we are having a big run of performances but we lost two or three games now in different ways and it’s not we want obviously.
Is it frustrating that you played so well and once again got nothing to show for it?
Yes but I have to be the one managing that. I’m a big believer in the better we play then we will get more points. But in the end it’s very tricky, our job is to as much as possible propose games where we deserve to win. Whether you get a result or not sometimes it’s difficult to control but as you said I think the team’s made more than what we have.
You had 1 shot on target and 1 corner. Once again you had lots of possession didn’t make much use of it?
Yeah for me the biggest issue was when we found some big openings against them which is really difficult because of their organisation, the final pass and the final product wasn’t good enough, but the attacking threat you can create is not only with the shots you that you create, it’s every situation you are able to create that equally leads to results. As you said you have to hit the target many more times to have a chance to win the game.