Interview

Willock - Saka is brilliant, he can be unstoppable

Bukayo Saka

Joe Willock scored twice in a fine midfield performance during our 3-1 win over Forest Green Rovers on Wednesday night - but he was quick to praise his 17-year-old teammate Bukayo Saka afterwards.

The skilful winger won the penalty that allowed Willock to open the scoring, before assisting his second of the evening with an inch-perfect pass behind the Rovers defence.

We spoke to Willock after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

on our first-half performance… 
I thought we had to be mature because we know that they’re older and more mature than us, so we had to turn them over a couple of times to earn the right to play and I thought we did that well. We stuck to the game plan.

on controlling the game in the second half… 
Obviously there’s still a lack of maturity in our team because we’re still very young, but if we cut that out then we can continue to be a brilliant side.

on Bukayo Saka setting up both of his goals…
He’s still young but he’s a brilliant player. We all know in the camp that he’s one of the most talented players we have in the team. He’s very fast and if you play to his strengths he’s unstoppable at times.

on how he helps Saka… 
Obviously I have to keep him grounded every day in training, but I just tell him to express himself and I try to protect him on the pitch because he gets a lot of kicks. He’s a very skilful player.

Joe Willock

on Ljungberg giving him freedom to push forward…
Freddie’s given me a lot of freedom this season and he’s told me to get in the box and score goals, but I’ve also got to get back! I’m just expressing myself, doing what he’s telling me and I’m loving it.

on what Ljungberg has taught him…
He’s taught me so much. He’s telling me about different positions to pick up in the game so that I can get on the ball, and he’s taught me more defensive work like rotations too. I’m really enjoying working under Freddie.

on what was different compared to our previous two showings…
We had a little dip after our unbeaten run, but we had to bounce back. We knew that before the game it was going to be a tough one and we knew that we had to be strong and not concede, even if we have to work for the goals, we knew that we can’t concede early, so we done that and we’re going to push on from here.  

Fixtures

International Champions Cup
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Friendly Match
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Results

International Champions Cup
International Champions Cup