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Allardyce on... Liverpool

Filed: Saturday, 20th September 2014
By: Staff Witer No.2

An understandably happy Sam Allardyce shares his views in this evening's post-match press conference...

You couldn't have had a better start, Sam?

Yes. Outstanding. Our high pressing game today in the first half and to score two goals in that early period really stung the Liverpool players. We carried that through to the end of the first half and took them to task. We played outstandingly well and didn't let Liverpool play at all. The only disappointment was that it was 2-1 at half-time and not more.

Having said that, we've won the game and deserved to win it. We had to give a more solid defensive performance in the second half when Liverpool were throwing caution to the wind. Then we managed to pop up with a third goal just at the right time. An outstanding performance, particularly the first half and one where we've deserved everything we've got.

Was tiredness setting in with the new players?

Yes - when you think that for Alex [Song] it was his first competitive start today. He didn't play any games for Barcelona so he did tremendously well to last as long as he did. I think the front two look like they've been here for a long time; Sakho and Valencia, the energy that they've got both in and out of possession. They terrorised Liverpool's back four today. Then you've got Cheik Kouyate who loves football, loves life, loves being here every day. He's looking like a promising player for us.

So we've got good players we've recruited this season and it's lifted everyone. It shows what we might be capable of this season.

Where does that performance rank since you've been here? As good as the Tottenham performance, maybe?

I think it's as good as the Tottenham performance, maybe better. I think the closest we came to that first half was the second half against Chelsea in year one where we went in at 1-0 down and won 3-1. This performance in many ways was better for me.

It's early on in the new season and we've got a lot of new players. You talk about how soon are they going to hit the ground running. It makes a difference to how your season is going to go. Our players have hit the ground running. Our players are performing very well indeed at this level at the first time of asking.

We've had four out of five games that have been very good from our point of view and one bad game against Southampton. It was very important to not only to play well but to win. That's what it's all about at the end of the day.

With the new players you've brought in – especially the front two – do you think this is the most exciting team you've ever managed?

I'm not so sure about the most exciting team I've ever managed. At West Ham yes, but when you look at the players we had in year five at Bolton Wanderers when we finished top six or top four every season. We nearly made the Champions League on one occasion.

This team has the capability of going that far. When you think that Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Joey O'Brien weren't in today's squad through injury that shows strength in depth in the squad. Hopefully we can grow from here. Monday's another day. Enjoy the weekend lads but Monday get ready for Old Trafford, a massive game that we've got to play up there.

Was it a shot or a cross, the second goal?

Cross/shot goal! He meant it. Try and convince him that he didn't.

He [Sakho] went ballistic when they said it was an own goal at Hull. That's what scoring means to him. When we told him the dubious goals panel had credited him with the goal you couldn't get the smile off his face. He's been a bit under the radar with us buying Enner Valencia, who had a great World Cup. Diaf came from Metz in the French second division, where he got 20 goals.

Those two are putting in great performances at the minute. The change of system is working for us. It worked well at Hull and it's worked even better today.


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