Football - Premier League

Managers: AVB denies Roman influence

Managerial reaction from around the Premier League, with Andre Villas-Boas rejecting claims Roman Abramovich influenced his Chelsea team selection.

 
AVB: No Roman influence - Football - Premier LeagueAFP
 

Chelsea 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Andre Villas-Boas, asked whether Roman Abramovich's presence affected the team selection: ""What are you trying to say?Of course, it's a co-incidence. (Sarcastically) I got the call just this morning to play them, all three of them. Today, we got back to our normal 4-3-3, three fresh legs on the pitch. So I think pretty straightforward. Lamps has always been competing for the place since he returned from injury and played against Everton. He had his chance today and played fantastically well. Normal squad rotation and nothing new."

Owen Coyle: "My disappointment is in the goals that were given up. We know that it was there today, maybe not to win the game, but certainly achieve a point from the match. Given where we are, every point will be vital, as we know. You'll think I'm biased, because Andre's a friend of mine, but there's no doubt what he's trying to put in place for years to come."

Manchester City 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

Roberto Mancini: "It is important to be (top) at the end of May. (The game) was difficult - they had 10 players behind the ball. We had a lot of chances to score. In the end it was important we won the game. (Yaya Toure) has a problem in his leg, his muscle. Tomorrow we will see."

Steve Kean: "These games (coming up) are very tough - to come to places like this - but we have a very good spell of games coming up. It's a big month: the games we've got (against) teams around us. We feel a bit depleted right now. It was important to get through today without any injuries. "I did (think Morten Gamst Pedersen should have had a penalty) and I said that to the referee but we respect his decision."

Newcastle United 2-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Alan Pardew: "When you are 2-0 up at Newcastle and you are the home team, you have got to win, it's as simple as that. We spoke about it at half-time, that the game wasn't over, because Wolves had fair control of the first half although we got two goals. We never got to grips in that first 20 minutes. Having said that, they were two poor goals we conceded and we should have done a lot better."

Terry Connor: "I was confident before the game. I know what the dressing room is like and I know how they react in adversity when things don't go quite their way. Two weeks ago when we played West Brom and lost 5-1, it was very, very hard for them. But I had a feeling they would react in the right manner, a positive manner, and they did that today."

West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Sunderland

Roy Hodgson: "There are still 12 games to play and we will lose some of those because they are tough fixtures against a lot of teams above us. But it's an 11-point gap (over the bottom three) plus goal a better goal difference. That is an awful lot of points. Our aim is to stay in this league for a third successive season but I don't think I need to be worrying too much about asking questions about relegation when we are effectively 12 points clear."

Martin O'Neill: "The early goal knocked us back a bit but it shouldn't have done. It shouldn't be a decisive moment. We were second best for all of the first half and at the end of the day we were deservedly beaten. It was a tough one to take because it was certainly unlike us in recent times not to compete and just have a real appetite for it. At this moment we are not good enough to go 10-15 minutes in a game and play second fiddle to teams."

QPR 0-1 Fulham

Mark Hughes on the post-match handshake: "I offered my hand and he shook it readily. I congratulated him on a good performance by his team. They won the game and I don't have a problem with that. I took exception because I thought he was going to tap me on the head, which I deemed to be slightly patronising so I brushed his arm away. That is all it was. No big deal."

Martin Jol: "We shook hands but maybe I made it a bit too personal, you know? I tried to grab his shoulder and he didn't like that because he is a tough guy. He is a winner, he wants to win. Maybe he doesn't like me, I don't know. We saw from the first day he came, Pavel (Pogrebnyak) is a good player. He has good quality, a good boy and that is exactly the information I had on him from the two Dutch coaches that worked with him at Russia, Dick Advocaat and Guus Hiddink."

Wigan Athletic 0-0 Aston Villa

Roberto Martinez: "Now results are a real priority. We can win games away from home but at the moment we can't rely on our home form. It would be a real advantage if we could rectify that. We have 12 games left to get the points we need to stay up but I do not think there is a sense of fear. We know what we have to do."

Alex McLeish: "Nobody likes (getting booed). I can't say it is water off a duck's back and I don't mind it. I understand the modern-day thinking but I am not going to get into a spat with my own supporters. I need those guys. I have got a great challenge here. It is probably one of the toughest jobs in the Premier League but I am up for it. I am willing to take it on. I still believe we will prosper."

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