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Jose Gomes On Stoke Stalemate: It Was Not A Beautiful Game

The Portuguese discussed the ongoing relegation battle after a windy day at the bet365 Stadium.

Another point on the board in our fight against relegation. It wasn’t an easy game against Stoke City, but we managed to take a point back to the Madejski to keep us out the bottom three.

The conditions in Stoke were difficult, and I’m sure many fans would have taken a point at the start of the game, but we could have picked up all three points at the end had Garath McCleary not missed a good chance late on.

We now go into the international break in 21st position, one point ahead of Rotherham in 22nd, but only two points off Wigan in 19th. It’s certainly going to be a stressful end to the season!

Here is what Jose Gomes had to say after the game, speaking to both the official club website and Football.London.

Gomes on the conditions

“There was a strong wind and the ball was moving without anyone even touching it – these are tough conditions to play in.

“We talked about it before the game. My opinion was to play the first half with the wind behind us because sometimes the wind can stop in the second half.

“But the players knew the wind wouldn’t stop and they preferred to play with it in the second half.”

Gomes on the performance

“We didn’t perform well, and Stoke didn’t perform well. It was not a beautiful game. But it was the type of game that you can expect in these kind of conditions.

“At the beginning they could have scored; at the end we could have scored. It is a fair result. For sure this point will be important for our position in the table at the end of the season.

“In the position that we’re in, every point is good. We need a lot of points before we will feel really safe in the table, so the fight will go on.

“From our side, it was a game that we could not afford to lose. Sometimes that spirit damaged the quality of our offensive movements. But we tried to win the challenges and we won most of them.

“It was very important to get through those early stages – if we had conceded it would have been difficult to turn the result around.”

Gomes on the clean sheet

“It was important to get a clean sheet again. We tried to achieve the three points to win the game but it was a difficult fixture. It was important that we achieved at least a point today.”

Gomes on picking up a point

“We are more disappointed than happy, because we want to get away from danger as quickly as possible. We know that if we draw all the games we have left, that might not be enough – so we need to win.”

Gomes on Andy Yiadom playing in midfield

“It’s an option - like we have other options. He is a very good defender - he’s fast and strong. During the first half we didn’t control some balls in that zone so there were a lot of aerial challenges and we lost the ball when we tried to recover it.

“With Yiadom in that position the team felt more protected in that zone, I think.

“We didn’t play a beautiful game but we played one which was possible under the conditions.”

Gomes on Michael Olise’s first start

“He trained very well and showed me during training we can use his talent. He started a bit nervous but that’s normal.

“He grew into the game and just before I changed him had did a very good offensive action where he beat two or three players and then was fouled, I think.

“He is a talented player and we must help to use him in the best way we can with his technical ability.”

Gomes on the relegation fight

“The fight has not finished and it will go on. It hasn’t finished for Wigan either so we need to keep working and prepare for the next game.

“It will be difficult for all the teams (the rest of the season) but we need to win games. If we draw all the games until the end it will not be enough.”