On the overall performance...
"I feel it was a nervy game. We didn't finish the game off because of our recent history and I felt that we played a littlle bit with a handbrake. On the other hand I praise the team for being focussed and determined to win even when they are playing a little bit less well.

"Sometimes I sit here and you say 'you played well but you didn't win' but today you say 'you didn't play well'. We will soon try to combine both.

"We beat Man United and after we lose at home to Aston Villa and at Man City. We beat Chelsea last week so we knew that today was a bigger game because we needed to win another game on top of that."

On Cesc Fabregas' contribution since becoming the captain...

"He behaves very well. We were all concerned about his knee and I am not sure he will play on Wednesday. He is doing extremely well and he is a winner."

On Eboue's late substitution...
"Yes it was a difficult decision. I felt he had completely lost his confidence and could not keep the ball anymore. Of course then he became a danger. I feel it was very sad but aswell i think the most important thing is that we won the game, whether he played a minute more or less at the end of the day it doesn't make a difference.

"I think when you are a fan you are behind your players and that is what you want them to do. On the other hand I believe that Eboue will come back and show how good a player he is. For me that has happened on every pitch in the whole world and the same fans will applaud him when he comes back and plays well.

"We started to lose balls in the middle of the park. I want to show him nothing, I want to win the game. Do you really think I am at the stage where i want to show a player something? What would I want to show him? I just think that it could have put our 90 minutes hard work in trouble and you want to save the game. He would be the first unhappy one if he loses the ball because it makes him lose confidence and the team can drop points.

"He is a sensitive boy who wants to do well and cares about the club. He was tired because he didn't play for a month and on top of that it is difficult when you have the crowd on your back. You do not want the fans to do it but if you say to do they have the right legally to do it, then of course they do."

On ever taking such measures before...
"I don't remember because my memory is not perfect enough. I just felt it got to a point. I wanted to keep the player on to get the boos right, but when it goes as far as that it becomes a danger for the result and it is a relief for the player to come off.

"At the end of the day you want to make the right decision for the team."

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6 Dec 2008