You got it done in the end but a bit close for comfort?
Yes, it was too close for comfort. But let’s be fair, I don’t think it was ever comfortable at any point in the game, it wasn’t comfortable for the first minute and it certainly wasn’t comfortable in the 90th minute.
This time of the year you take what you can get, we are churning the players out, trying to get them ready for games and you don’t know how they’re going to be. So I have to praise the players tonight, we scored three goals tonight, four at Watford, so from that point of view we have to praise them greatly for those two games.
With back-to-back wins is this the start of another run?
I do. I really do and you know, I’m thrilled with us getting these results. I told the players we set really big standards at the start of the season and we need to get back to them. There have been small signs that it is getting better, our goalscoring is getting better after a spell of not scoring away from home, so scoring away from home is pleasing me but we need to get back to being pretty mean and not allowing teams the opportunity to get back into the game. We gave that opportunity to Palace today.
It was Declan Rice’s 150th league appearance, he was in the build of both of the goals.
He’s got so much more to his game and he’s producing more and he will get better with time. There have been games recently where he was a little bit up and down but if you think of his performances in the Euros for England and how he has come back and played for us since the start of the season. He is important to us. Him and Tomas Soucek are starting to show they have played a lot of football. In this last week and not just this week but with the Carabao Cup as well we have had a busy schedule. I am pleased with two away games and two wins away from home is not an easy job.
Lanzini scored a wonder goal, West Ham like a wonder goal..
Yes, we do and Lanznin has been the man for it in the last year or two. It was a really good goal and Lanzini has been playing well for us and we needed Lanzini to give us something slightly different while we have not quite got the same rhythm as we had for the opening three or four months but he is chipping in. He is helping us with his play and with his goals which is good.
There has been a debate about three or five subs, where do you fall on that?
When this was first debated I did think three but the longer it goes on five would be my choice. I did have a change [of heart] about it because I do think that with the welfare with the situation going on, like today, I would have liked to have used another sub. I had chosen to take Ben off because he got booked in the first half and I did not want him to have any chance of getting sent off and I actually thought I had one more left and I called Yarmolenko over as well later on. My preference would be to have five as well but I think we’ve got to be careful that we do it correctly and try to get all the right reasons for it.
You are going to lose Said Benrahma for a month is this the perfect time for Lanzini to step up?
I think he’s a changed player because of the injury and he has had to adapt. He is closer to a midfield player now than a No.10, I know we had to play him higher up today but he’s had to adapt and change but I am pleased for him.
It will also be an opportunity for Vlasic who we have as well, he came on and had a couple of good moments in the game so we have to try and get him up. This period will give him opportunities and Yarmolenko as well.
Said being away, he has just hit a little bit of form with his goals so we will miss him.
Are you worried about the lack of clean sheets?
Yes, hugely worried because we have to score too many goals to win games. We had a period where we started to get a few but it is something we have not been as good at this season and it will catch you out if you are not careful, so we are well aware of it.
Is signing a defender high on your list of priorities?
A defender is in our priorities but if we get Kurt [Zouma] back quite quickly it might alter it. Trying to get what we want and what we like and someone in is not easy but if I can get someone in I will do as I do not want to be left short again. It would only take one more injury and we are back to the same situation. Unfortunately, because Angelo [Ogbonna] is out for the season it has made things a little bit thin. It is very rare when you have four centre-halves at the club that two of them get injured so that is quite rare. But let’s be fair the two we have got are doing a decent job for us and we need to give them a bit more help as well.
Will Pablo Fornals be included against Leeds?
He is not showing symptoms so I don’t know on the dates but if they work out we will have him back. He is double vaccinated and boosted.