2:30 PM: Unfortunately, that’s it from us here today at Rush Green as David Moyes has now finished speaking to us, thank you very much for joining us on this festive afternoon and we hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s coverage of the Gaffer’s Pre-Newcastle United Presser, keep your eyes peeled for all of our build-up that tomorrow’s fixture.
And, do join us once again from 1 PM tomorrow (Saturday 23 December 2017) live from the London Stadium Press Box as we bring you exclusive build-up, live text commentary and reaction from the visit of Benitez’s Magpies, until then, I’ve been Luke Glanville live today at the club’s Training Ground, I hope that you will join me tomorrow and Merry Christmas and goodbye.
On His Ambitions For The Rest Of The Season:
“Well, my ambition is always to be at the top, it really is, but obviously doing that, here it’s small steps and sometimes it’s a long journey, quite often now Football supporters don’t like the long journey or the thought of the long journey.
But, really, I don’t think we are necessarily gonna be a club who will go out and spend hundreds and hundreds of millions to get there in the short-term, so I always think your Youth policy, the players you bring in and I think just the way you try to develop your club gives you a better chance of getting there, albeit sometimes it takes a bit of time”.
On Team News Ahead Of The Clash:
“I doubt with Michail Antonio who couldn’t play in midweek with a bit of a calf injury so that gives u a question mark about him, after that I hope that most of them, Cheik Kouyate’s trained this week so we are hoping that he’ll be available, after that a few big ones like Mark Noble won’t be available for the weekend, Mark’s got a bit of a hamstring injury.
On Tomorrow’s Opposition:
“Well, it’s a game, we’re at home, I’ve got to say the crowd have played a brilliant Job in helping us, there’a nothing that would give me more pleasure than giving them a great Christmas present of getting three points on Saturday.
We had a really good win at Stoke against a competitor, we need to try and do that again against Newcastle as well, so, we are at home and we have to try and hope that the crowd and everybody’s behind us and we can all have a really good Christmas period”.
On His Rivalry With Rafa Benitez:
“Yeah, Rafa had really good Liverpool teams, in fact, I look back at Liverpool now and I look at their teams now and I think, it will be hard to come up against better Liverpool teams when it was Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and you know Hyypia and Carragher, Torres, I could go on and on really, Dirk Kuyt, they were really difficult to beat.
But, we had a few battles over the years, I missed Rafa when he went to Real Madrid, I had just left Sociedad, so I missed him in Spain, but obviously, over the years, we’ve come across each other”.
On The Sacking Of Paul Clement At Swansea City:
“Look, I know Paul well, he’s a really good Coach, he’s experienced now, he’s had, you know, he’s done a great Job at Swansea, last year he came in and he took Swansea up.
But, I think, and I’ve experienced it as well, when you’re at a club which has been a regular around the bottom, it makes it very difficult, you know to actually completely change it, something has to change or one year you do fall over.
So, unfortunately, the game we’re in now means that the Manager’s Job is very short and I think we all understand it now, I think when you’re a Manager you come into it and you understand it, and this is probably the way it’s going to be”.
On His Frustration About The Manuel Lanzini Call:
“We’ve moved on now, so I think the rule they’ve brought in is a really good rule, I’m disappointed with the decision because I think that there is, similar situations have not been dealt with in the way our’s has and I feel that’s a bit unfair, it’s more than unfair.
On Whether The Current Simulation Punishment System Works:
“Well, I think its something which is in place and I think it’s right to be in place, I think we don’t want simulation in our Country.
But, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in Spain where it’s seen as very much part of the game and it’s seen very much as doing the right thing for the team and that’s why there’s much more free-kicks and fouls in Spain and stoppages in the games than we’ve got in the Premier League.
I think the Premier League Referees do a great job in trying to keep the game moving and I think they do a great Job in trying to give the right decisions, our Referee was ten yards from it, as I said the defender stuck his leg put and the player went over, I think he gave the Referee a decision and he took the decision.
The FA and the Committee have gone against the Referee, they haven’t gone against us, they’ve gone against their own people, so if they don’t support them on decisions which are splitting the Country, I think it’s very difficult.
On The Limited Time Available To Him At Christmas:
“We’ve had about a month now, we’ve been able to put some work into the players and give them a bit of feedback on how we’ve worked, but I think the players totally understand this time of the year as well, it’s not easy for them to get all the work and all the training we would require and all the preparation work there’s not that time”.
On How Happy He Is With The Team’s Form:
“I’m happy with the form last week, I’m happy with the points we took and I’m happy with our performances, but we’ve got a lot to do, for where I would like to go with the team, you know, we’re at the rung of the ladder.
But, we’ve got a big job to do to make sure we stay away from the wrong end of the Table first and foremost and all we can do is take one game at a time and try and improve our performances game by game”.
On The Busy Festive Period:
“Well, it’s different from normal because you would have preparation time and a time to feedback to the players after the games as well, I think at this period you’re merely moving on very quickly.
You’re more interested in getting them recovered, getting them ready for the next game and prepare for it, so things change, I think it all goes very quickly, but I’ve been involved in Football since I was 16, playing and or Managing, and I’ve not really known it any different.
So, it’s something you get on with you learn to do it, as a player over the years, it was sometimes you were playing two games every three days and it wasn’t always that nice, but I think if you are a Professional Footballer you understand if you come to play in this Country and you want to play here then part of our tradition is that we play over Christmas and New Year”.
1:38 PM: A slightly late David Moyes has arrived to address us here, live quotes to follow……………
1:25 PM: A mere five more minutes to wait for the Gaffer here, expected topics of discussion are expected to include team news ahead of tomorrow’s visit of the Magpies, recent developments involving striker Diafra Sakho and Wednesday’s defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
1:20 PM: We are being treated to Mulled Wine and Festive treats here in the Press Conference Room, thanks to Public Transport we are running a bit behind, but we now have just ten minutes until David Moyes will join us, it should be an interesting one today.
1:10 PM: The Media Centre on this festive afternoon.
1:00 PM: Good afternoon from a very chilly Rush Green Training Ground where we have arrived to bring you live coverage of today’s Pre-Newcastle United Presser, there’s nothing quite like a Press Conference to add to the festivities so thank you very much for joining us, follow me on Twitter @Glanville_Luke and us @MooreThanAClub, stay with us.