Every word Patrick Vieira said on Southampton, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Kalvin Phillips and more


Is the target the top half of the Premier League?

We didn’t, and we’re still not going to have these kinds of targets in our minds. We always concentrate on the proceeds of winning football matches and try to play as best as we can. Of course, there are games remaining, and we have to finish in the best way possible. That means performing well and trying to perform at our best. Then the way we will perform will decide the result.

Do you want to see attitude from your players in the final five games?

This is what we’ve tried to do since the first day. The attitude and the process that we try to put in place to win football matches. We are not going to make any kind of judgement on players because they did not play well or train well in the last couple of days. We have to evaluate the season and how we perform collectively.

Kalvin Phillips says Wilfried Zaha dives a lot, that’s not the case, is it?

It’s quite a strange comment. I think that game you can all see and watch the game again, and I think some of them [Leeds players] were lucky not to get a yellow card because I think the plan was clear. It was to target Wilfried. Wilfried remained calm and concentrated on his game. I think he had a really good game.

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Is he misunderstood?

This is the way he plays the game. He’s really good on the ball, he holds the ball, he fights for it and he’s a really good dribbler. When you have those qualities, you have to look at the other side, and players will try to stop you, and you have to accept it. I think Wilfried showed a lot of maturity during the game, and he was really close to scoring that goal. Overall, I think he had a really good performance.

Are you talking about new players this summer? How many do you need?

Not yet. The main focus and concentration is to finish the season well, and then we will have time to talk about which part of the game that we need to improve on to be better next year.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka rumours?

I don’t want to make any comments. He’s a United player. I know he went through the Academy here, and people love him for what he’s done for Crystal Palace, but he’s a United player, and I don’t want to go into that kind of discussion.

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Jurgen Klopp’s new contract, do you prefer a long deal or a short, 18-month contract?

I think what is important for me is stability. I think stability will give a manager the platform to put his ideas in place and to judge him. I think Klopp is in a really good place. He’s doing well, he’s winning trophies, and I think it is a plus for Liverpool.

Do you feel as if Crystal Palace is a club you’re beginning to love?

Of course. I’m feeling like I am at home. I’m enjoying every single day so far. I’m surrounded by people who support me and support the players to improve and working with the people around me has been really good. Hopefully, it’ll be like that for a long time period. But we are in a world where we are judged by what we’re doing and the way the team is performing, and I know that can go really quickly one way or the other. So I’m really happy, and things are going really well, but we still want to win more football matches.

Thoughts on Southampton?

This is a team that I like watching play as I believe they have a good balance between pace, physicality and technicality. They’ve been doing really well, and for us, it’s a really good example to follow with the way they build the team. It’s a sustainable football club, and they’re doing a really good job.

Do you need to talk to referees about how much Wilfried Zaha gets fouled?

I’m against protecting players. The challenges are part of the game, and Wilfried Zaha or any other players have to deal with the quality that they have as well. Teams tried to stop them, and I think Leeds were quite smart because it was different players who were making fouls on him all the time. But he has to deal with it, and I think against Leeds, he did really well. He managed that really well. But at the same time, I don’t want to lose that fire that he has because that is who he is as a player and as a person, so we have to manage it. Of course, referees have to understand the game as well. I think Leeds were quite lucky not to get a yellow card, and you can see that was a plan for them.

Do you work with him to keep him calm?

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Do you work with him to keep him calm?

I think it’s important to try to be positive and for him to understand why opposition teams want him to lose his control. It’s because of his talent and quality and how he can hurt them. This is a compliment. It’s about him concentrating on his game and playing as best as he can. I think he’s getting to an age where he has more experience and managing those situations.

Pleased with Leeds reaction after the Newcastle hangover?

We were ourselves from the first minute to the last. We played with a lot of tempo and enthusiasm. We played to win the game. We competed well. We were aggressive. I was pleased with the image we showed. It wasn’t the case in the first half against Newcastle, but this is what we need to keep. We want to enter every game the same way. This year wasn’t always the case.

Special plans to stop James Ward-Prowse free-kicks?

This is the plan, to try not to make any fouls around the box because he is one of the best, I believe in the country and in Europe. He can score goals, he is really good at that. We have to be clever in our defending.

Speak to Zaha about the narrative of him being a diver?

No, not at all. We had a couple of conversations about it, but like I said, it’s important for him to understand that when he is getting fouled that is just him doing well. They want to stop you, and that happened to good players, top players. He has to find a way to manage these situations and concentrate on his football.

Team news?

Everybody trained this morning. The only one who was out was Nathan Ferguson.

Tyrick Mitchell back in the squad?

He will be back in the squad, yes.

Odsonne Edouard has been in and out of the team, have you managed him differently?

I think he had a really good start when he arrived and he played some really good football. He has had a bit of a dip, and we have other players around him who are doing really well. Now it is important for him to keep fighting in these couple of games left. He will play those couple of games, and it’s important for him to keep fighting for his spot. At the moment, he is behind Jean-Philippe, who is doing really well for the team.

Source by Football London

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