• Premier League What They Said

Villas-Boas: Friedel still Tottenham's No. 1

ESPN staff
September 1, 2012
Brad Friedel made several fine saves for Tottenham © Getty Images

Andre Villas-Boas claimed Brad Friedel would remain Tottenham's No. 1 goalkeeper despite the capture of Hugo Lloris, following a fine display by the American in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Norwich: "It was an amazing game. He saved us a couple of times from going 1-0 down, so he was outstanding," Villas-Boas said. "Obviously the competition increases for him but the place is his because he is a tremendous goalkeeper and he deserves that spot."

Villas-Boas also refused to panic after Robert Snodgrass' equaliser, which cancelled out Moussa Dembele's opener, left Spurs with two points from their opening three matches: "I think it is normal. You just have to wait for it to happen (an upturn in form) and it normally comes with hard work."

Chris Hughton left White Hart Lane disappointed not to have beaten Spurs after Norwich arguably enjoyed the better chances: "We were the better team last week and were disappointed we didn't get the win, and I think it was similar today," Hughton said. "They had more possession than we did but I think we carved out some good opportunities and, on chances, I thought we edged it."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini called on his side to be more ruthless in front of goal after they failed to convert dominance into goals for large parts of the 3-1 victory over QPR: "I think we played well in the first half, but we have one problem at the moment - when we have a chance to score we don't score, and the game can change," Mancini told ESPN. "We had this problem in the first game and against Liverpool. In the second half we didn't play well. We were too slow, but in the end it's important that we took three points.''

Tony Pulis refused to comment on speculation that Michael Owen may still join Stoke on a free transfer, following the Potters' 2-2 draw at Wigan: "If he is [signed], you will know when it has been done, not before," Pulis said.

Commenting on his side's failure to take all three points, after Ali Al-Habsi denied Charlie Adam at the death, Pulis added: "[I am] disappointed with just a point. We had the better chances. The keeper made a great save in the end. It was a remarkable save."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez also praised Al-Habsi, who made the telling impact after goals from Jon Walters and Peter Crouch had twice pegged back Wigan who led through Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo: "You always know that you can rely on Ali," Martinez said. "He does not surprise anymore. He is always at his best."

Michael Laudrup revealed he will review the red card handed out to Chico before deciding whether to appeal, following Swansea's 2-2 draw with Sunderland: "I need to see it a few more times. I think he goes for ball," Laudrup said. "It is a high leg, but I will have to see it a few more times. I hope the referee will as well because it's important for us if it's one game or three games."

Laudrup felt his side, who twice equalised through Wayne Routledge and Michu, had shown they have the necessary character to enjoy a good season, despite the setback of the sending off: "I think the game showed me a lot of good things about the character of this team. In the first two games, winning five and three nil, today everything went against us. Even with one man less, we kept the ball and it was great for me to see the performance of the team today."

Charlie Adam debuted for Stoke © PA Photos

Martin O'Neill was happy to take a point away from Swansea, courtesy of two goals from debutant Steve Fletcher, and he explained why fellow new signing Danny Rose did not feature: "Danny actually signed in time, but it's asking a lot to throw a young lad in that hasn't played for a little while for Tottenham Hotspur," O'Neill said. "He will play now. He will go to the England U21s and he might get some game time. When he comes back, hopefully he will get into the run of things.

"I was delighted with Steven Fletcher to score twice for us. It's a brilliant start to his Sunderland career and the crowd have taken to him. When he's fit, he'll be a real handful."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke had nothing but praise for his players after they extended their unbeaten start with a 2-0 victory over Everton, courtesy of goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley: "It is a good start and credit to the players, they have applied themselves really well, it is a good start and we are really pleased," Clarke said. "The longer the game went on the better we got, we grew into the game. Everton are a really difficult side and they have started the season well and we knew it would be a tough game, all the credit goes to the players, they have the difficult part - I am just there to help."

David Moyes blamed himself for Everton's defeat, admitting he was too hasty to introduce Kevin Mirallas: "We made changes to try and win but unfortunately that backfired on us today, maybe I made the wrong decision and should have sat back and let them come on to us, but we went looking for the goal," Moyes said.

Sam Allardyce, who confirmed Andy Carroll would likely miss England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers due to injury, spoke of the lift the loan signing gave his squad before their 3-0 win over Fulham: "I think it made us all feel that little bit better when you have got a £35million centre-forward walk through the door whether you have got him on loan or not," Allardyce said. "It brought excitement to Kevin Nolan's performance because Kevin can feed off Andy instinctively very, very well. Kevin could have probably had a hat-trick today because if he knows the ball is going to Andy he knows he can go beyond and get into areas where Andy can find him."

Fulham boss Martin Jol blamed his defenders after first-half goals from Nolan, Winston Reid and Matt Taylor: "If you are 5ft 8ins or 5ft 10ins maybe you have got a problem [with Carroll] but we should have coped with it. Every game you see him, in the European Championships, you see he is good in the air, he is probably the best in the Barclays Premier League but I still feel there are a few answers for that but we couldn't cope with that."

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