Tense for a lot of the time but great once we got the fourth goal, then I felt I could relax at that point.
It was a fantastic performance obviously, from start to finish the players were absolutely outstanding. We could have scored more against a very, very good team.
How did it work with David tonight? Been able to speak to him?
I haven’t apart from before the game, a brief one at half time and then after. He was in communication with Stuart Pearce all the way through the game, quite a lot through the game, and that information got passed down.
The substitutions we made at the end were David’s I said before the game that would be the case and I wasn’t going to be doing anything other.
We only had the one option when Ryan [Fredericks] had to come off so we had to make the decision very quickly. It was a straight swap, I made that one!
When will he be back?
So it’ll stay the same for the cup tie vs Everton?
As far as I know, I don’t see anything changing.
How is he feeling?
Absolutely fine. No doubt frustrated about not being in but he’s fine. The worst he had was a headache one morning but other than that, fine.
Must be delighted how you have turned things around since Newcastle?
Absolutely. We felt as if we should have got something at Arsenal, lots of people did. We have had two good performances in the cup but this was important today and for it to be such a good result.
Not only scoring four goals but keeping a clean sheet which was something we didn’t do enough last season. That was all really pleasing, from start to finish the players were fantastic.
I have to say, throughout this whole thing with David not being in, the players and the staff have been great, really professional.
Declan Rice, impressed with how he can put speculation aside?
You wouldn’t even think there was any speculation around him, the way he goes about his job every single day. He is an absolute pleasure to work with and you can see what we think of him.
He has been captain on the cocasions that Mark [Noble] hasn’t been playing. His leadership qualities are starting to come out, he is changing from being a young player into a leader.
Has the shock of midweek galvanised the players?
I haven’t really thought about it that way but it’s a possibility, they have had to rally around and they have been great every day. There has been nothing negative in terms of the way they have gone about the job.
We have done a lot of good work on the training ground which they have bought in to very, very well so we are thrilled with how they have been. All the staff have rallied around too so it has been a real effort to get that kind of reward today. Full credit to them.
Keeping the clean sheet almost as important?
Yep, last season our goals scored column would have got us quite high up the league but our goals against column was nowhere near good enough.
That meant a lot to Lukasz and to the defenders who I thought were outstanding, the way they worked as a unit was fantastic so they will be thrilled. It will also give us an opportunity to do some more work with them!
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Did David speak to the players after the game?
No, he didn’t have contact with them. We have two phones, one with Pearcey and the other is in the managers room. He was on loudspeaker with the staff and as I’ve been trying to do all week, just relaying his messages to the players.
How have you personally found the last couple of days?
Enjoyable, to be honest from a selfish point of view. I have enjoyed stepping up and delivering those messages to the players. As a coaching staff we have really realised the importance of us getting the right messages over and making sure we are putting on the right things for the lads to make sure David’s absence isn’t missed as much as it could be.
Don’t get me wrong, we would all want him to be here but it is our job to make sure the atmosphere at the training ground remained a positive one.