At the start of the week, we’d have taken a point against Aston Villa but after Tuesday’s draw against Bolton, it was a must win game. Millwall and Rotherham faced each other Saturday afternoon which resulted in a 0-0 draw, so a win would have taken us out of the relegation zone, but it was not meant to be as we picked up a point.
That’s two points in a week and overall, performances are improving. Here is what Jose Gomes had to say after the game, he spoke to the official club website and Football.London.
Gomes on Aston Villa
“It was a very tough game, like we expected, against statistically the third-best attack in the league. They are very dangerous in their attack they have scored a lot of goals this season, they have a very good striker and wingers who come inside and shoot from all over the place.
”And we stopped them – our players did what they needed to do to stop them making those attacks.”
Gomes on the performance
“In the first half, we played better – I can say that because we played within our process, our style. In the second half the game became more of a typical Championship game – more direct football, trying to win second-balls. In this type of football, sometimes the opponent can be stronger than us.
”But, today, we showed that we are able to fight in that way. We know we have to play against teams who play all different types of football in this division. So we must be pleased for the way that the players fought and for the spirit that they showed on the pitch.”
Gomes on the fans
“We felt during the game that the fans were behind us. It was quite an emotional game. We come away with just one point, but we come away in good spirits and on the right track, ready to fight in the battles that we have in front of us.”
Gomes on the players showing spirit
“The team showed they have spirit. To keep a clean sheet against this strong attack in Aston Villa, they had to fight and run and show that they have defensive spirit in the moment that they lose the ball. Today they showed that. So we have untouchable hope for the future.
”Now we will recover and prepare for the next game, against a different type of opponent. We don’t have easy games in the Championship so we must be prepared for everything. It doesn’t matter the name or the level of the opponent; we must create, play offensive football, and win by scoring and scoring...until the end of the season.”
Gomes on Ejaria’s penalty shout
“Maybe - but this battle I cannot win. I cannot control it. My focus must be on what my players can do and this way if I put my focus on this issue then I can help them be better. In the next training session I can help them improve on the mistakes they did in the game.
“But what can I do in training to have better decisions from the referee? Nothing. I cannot lose time and focus on this. It’s difficult but it’s football. We can’t do anything about it.”
Gomes on Dai Yongge
“Today we had in the stadium Mr Dai and I invited him to come into the changing room after the game to let him feel the atmosphere of the players - the way we are living and what happens with us.
“He got the chance to see how his players were fighting to achieve to the targets we want. He liked the way we fought. He felt this. We would have liked to have given him the three points but it wasn’t possible.”
Gomes on problems in front of goal
“We created goal situations - three or four clear ones - but we must create more. We must produce more football and in the second half we played a different football so it was a second-balls game. When we did that we are out of our process and it’s not easy to create chances.
“We put the balls in the box with free-kicks and crosses and we could have scored but it’s not our football. We showed are able to stop teams who play this football and we created some dangerous situations.
“We should score more, definitely. It could be a worse situation if the team did not produce any danger to the opponent. We are creating chances - we’re missing the finishing but we tried. We had three or four situations in the first half, Nelson had a shot which caused a great save.
“Like Martinez who did a very good save. It was a very interesting game, emotion until the end. We felt the support from the start to the end from the fans. They felt the same thing as we felt from behind the line.
“The players were fighting and tried against a very strong team. I think their striker (Tammy Abraham) has scored 14 goals. We have 16 games in front of us, so he can score even more. He’s a very good striker and even their wingers are very good and we stopped them. We didn’t concede any goal.”
Gomes on Oliveira’s head injury
“I didn’t see him after the game. I don’t know. It was a very strange decision from the referee. It was his nose. I don’t know if it was broken, we will let you know.”
Gomes on the referee
“There was a lot of fight. Both teams wanted to win so there was emotion until the end with difficult decisions for the referee.
“There were set pieces, corners and wide free-kicks, the ball in the box all the time, then they started playing long balls into the box again. It was a typical Championship game, full of emotion.
“The people in the stands liked what they saw, we just need to win and move out of this position that nobody wants.”
Gomes on January’s business
“What the club did is very difficult, bringing in five players on loan. We didn’t spend any money, we sold some players so we helped this Financial Fair Play issue to be better and we improved the quality of the squad, so it was very good.”
Gomes on how close Meite was to leaving
“Reading received some offers, that were refused but he’s happy to play. He’s not like, the club didn’t allow me to go, no, he’s happy to play.
“He’s training very, very well and he showed that he wanted it. He fought, he ran, he tried.
“It doesn’t matter how far he was to leaving, the important thing is that he is with us and working well and he’s happy.”