First home league win since the opening day. How much of a relief was it at the end with the stadium having a bit of a party atmosphere?
We know it can be a very difficult place to come and play here, at Brentford Community Stadium. Finally, we got that home win that we have been searching and working very hard for to get, so fantastic atmosphere and especially in the end so for various reasons, it was a big win for us today.
It must be pleasing to get the result despite not battering the opposition?
Yes, very pleased with the result. Massive win, big big big win. I think we played a very good first half, where we deserved to go in front. Second half, Everton were a bit more on the ball without hurting us, of course I would have loved us to be even more on the ball, but to just put things into perspective, we are a newly promoted club. Playing against Everton, that’s invested heavily in the last three to four years, having a big aim into the top eight in the future and playing Champions League football. We are winning 1-0 in a even game, where it could have been a draw or a winner, and this time it was us.
There were plenty of times this season where we could have won, but we only got a draw. We got back to the strong defensive mindset we’ve had all season, especially at the beginning for six to seven games. The last three, we conceded too many chances and goals. This game, when we are lower and middle, that block in the 5-3-2 needs to be unbreakable and they were that today. On top of that, I think we’ve been very unlucky with injuries this season and then I had to sub three players I didn’t want to sub off during the game, so it’s just a big big massive win. Then, Alvaro [Fernandez] steps into the Premier League and makes two big saves when we need him, so top win.
Would you say that’s the biggest win of the season so far?
I think it’s up there, I would say now we only have four wins! I think it’s up there, of course the first one against Arsenal speaks for itself, but because we haven’t won in five, we actually should deserve more from those games, we all know that. Then to get the win, where we all know that if we want to do well in any league in the world, you need to defend well and got back to that top level of defending. Liverpool, City and Chelsea all need to do that, so that was so important we did that and then we got the massive win we can build on.
Any injury problems with the forced subs?
No, Christian had a minor back issue and should be ready and available for Thursday. I don’t know exactly what happened to Rico but it was a knock, the same with Sergi so they couldn’t carry on unfortunately. I expect them to be ready for Thursday.
Thoughts on Alvaro Fernandez’s performance?
Very pleased, we know that the keeper is a crucial position in any team. We missed one of the best keepers in the division [David Raya] so there were big shoes he need to step into. Naturally, he’s growing into the role and today, he’s pulled off two massive saves; the first one from Rondon in a crucial moment and the Iwobi shot in the second half where he needed to react quick. It was a big save, so very pleased with his performance.