Sánchez Flores: “The Team Is Growing Every Single Week”
By Kevin Affleck
Quique Sánchez Flores is steadfast in his belief that his evolving team are on the right lines and are creating a platform of the rock solid start on which to mount an escape act.
The Head Coach has been around the block long enough to know the team needed a win this afternoon of any sort, especially now we are over a quarter of the way through the season. But as he wasn't able to choreograph that, he'll settle for a shut-out that he feels is the basis for any sort of decent run of results.
“I am confident and I am realistic too,” he said. “I know we have to work really hard and I know we are working really hard. I know how the players are training every week. They deserve to win. We are creating something solid for the future. I believe that. I want to think in a positive way and that this was a good base for the future.”
The Head Coach launched his first spell in charge with three straight draws, two of which were goalless. He's done the same again now, albeit three games in, and he has the feeling it could be the basis for something more uplifting, like that thrilling run he went on his first season with wins over Stoke, Norwich, West Ham, Sunderland and Liverpool.
“This draw was good,” he said. “This is the base for something better. The necessity is something bigger [than last time] and we need to get to another part of the league, but we are not losing and we are not losing confidence. We are more mature defending and we don't concede too much. The feeling in the team is growing, every single week. I can feel it. We go with a passion to win and I can feel it's close. We try to keep with this feeling.”
Sánchez Flores agreed his ‘keeper played well, Ben Foster making three fine saves in the first-half, including a cracker from Arnaut Danjuma, but also wanted to point out that Aaron Ramsdale played well, too, the 21-year-old pulling off fine saves to deny Gerard Deulofeu and Will Hughes. He knows the team are struggling in front of goal, scoring five goals in ten games, but he takes solace from the fact the chances are being created.
“It is better we don't create a drama,” he said. “It's true from the numbers we don't score too much, but the most difficult thing in football is to create attempts. We have very clear attempts, so we don't need to be worried for that. The moment we stop creating attempts we should be worried.”
The cause is not being helped by injuries to Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck and Ismaïla Sarr, but the Head Coach likes the unpredictability Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu are providing in attack. They tried to unpick the lock several times today and almost succeeded.
“They are not completely strikers, but they have different qualities, different skills,” he said. “They cause problems for the defensive line. Pereyra is good at getting good balls in the last third and creating spaces on the side. Deulofeu has an amazing shot close to the box and they tried with their character.
“We created attempts from the first minute and had one of the most clear attempts. We were really close, but we are not creating a drama. Sometimes we are not making good decisions in the final third as the players don't feel completely relaxed, but I want to think in a positive way. The belief is that we are creating something for the team.”