You must be delighted with the way it finished?
Yes I am. It is a game which happens like no others you can see why people want to come and watch Leeds.
You know you will end up getting sucked into a similar game against Leeds because of the way they play. It was a great football game for the neutral, not so much I think for the managers because there was that much counter attack from both sides.
We had missed quite a few chances I felt, we missed two or three chances at the start before they went 1-0 up. We missed one right on half-time. And then I thought the second half we grew into the game and looked more liable to score in the second half. Thankfully we got there, we showed great character from the players after a difficult week at Old Trafford on Wednesday and we have come and won at Elland Road today in a game that is very difficult to explain with how to play but it was a great win for us.
Michail Antonio led the line in his usual manner and he gave Leeds all sorts of problems.
I’ve seen him play better. He missed a couple of chances at the start but when you’re in your centre forward you’re always hoping that an opportunity comes to you to get that goal and then Mickey did it.
He’s been really terrific for us since he’s become a centre forward. I didn’t think it was his best game, but I certainly thought his finished was magic and he missed one or two in the first half, but he will play much better and the team will play much better than we did today but it was really good.
Jarrod has started three in a row. What does that say about his engine? He’s the only one you’ve given starts to all three games.
Well if you asked me in pre-season who I thought looked the fittest and in the best condition, [it would be him] he came back a bit lighter than before and was in great nick and came back better than before.
Jarrod has great energy, he has loads of it, he has bundles of it. We have been asking him to get a couple of goals and he has been a bit unlucky today with the deflection but ultimately we want him to get into goalscoring positions to get the goals, he got some last season and I think he can do better this year.
Were you impressed with Said Benrahma and the way he tracked back to stop a fantastic chance for Leeds in the first half?
Yeah he did [well] the boys here know the rules. We’re all in it together they are a really great bunch of lads to work with. The way they have gone about their work from Wednesday night to here to pick up another three points it shows an awful lot about who the players are gelling together.
Just a great group of players at the moment, and we didn’t play as well today as maybe we should but I think Leeds United are probably the main reason for that because Leeds are difficult to play against.
As a manager just try to sum up what you’re thinking on the touchline as you’re watching this game of basketball in front of you.
I think when you’re watching you must think this is a great game the pitch seems huge and I think Leeds deserve more credit. I personally think they are a terrific passing team, but mainly they make really really good long passes
I think they are brave with the passes they choose to make as well. You have to stick with them, you have to run with them, you have to try not to get involved into their game, but when they break and when you win it back all you want to do is break on them and then it becomes like a basketball game. But I really think their style is unique. There are not many teams I think in world football who play like Leeds United. I think they’re a brilliant addition to the Premier League, if I was a supporter I would be looking forward to watching them. I am pleased we were able to match them because we have boys who can run as well. I was not so pleased with the first half but I thought we got much better in the second.
Do you think Michail Anotnio gets the respect he deserves?
I think everybody gives him the respect he deserves. Press, Sky, BBC everybody talks about Micky Anotnio. I think Mickey gets a lot of respect and the biggest respect he gets is from me and from the club because we really value him, and he’s developing into a good player.
I did not think his all-round play today was good but sometimes as a centre forward your all round play is not the most important thing. Most of the time, the most important thing is that you score the goals.
The keeper made a really good save from him in the fifth minute and there was another one as well which he pulled. He has had four or five chances today but he got one, and that’s the important thing.
He gets given big respect, certainly from everybody at West Ham we really enjoy him.
At full time you embraced Declan Rice after his driving run in midfield that led to Antonio’s goal. How impressed were you with him today? And did you see Rice, Soucek, Coufal and Cresswell threw their shirts to the crowd?
I think that there’s a stronger bond between the supporter and the players and the club which is good. If you want a good football club and supporters just look at Leeds United today their crowd was raucous here today.
I’ve got to say the supporters we had at Old Trafford and today were incredible. It’s great to see the West Ham supporters enjoying it as well. Obviously it’s good when you’re winning but I think overall they have appreciated the efforts of the team. The players know how much we need the support and at the London Stadium it’s been great as well so I hope we can keep it going.
Source by Football London