Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows today’s game against Stoke City hinged on penalties, but he feels their soft penalty award inspired the players through a sense of ‘injustice.’
With that said, as he spoke to the Official Site, the gaffer did admit it was a difficult choice for the referee to make in real time, but the replays suggested it was a soft penalty, and that’s exactly how the players viewed it.
‘I don’t think it was a penalty, but Howard Webb has to make a decision there and then. He doesn’t have the replays that we do. It galvanised everyone in the dressing room. We felt hard done by, we had to control our emotions, which is important when you have decisions like that go against you, because you can’t change the referee’s mind.’
Ole goes on to say that the players channelled their frustration and used it to give them some momentum, and additional energy for the second half, and he felt we were much improved and played with a real desire to get back into the game and that was exactly what we did through the penalty award for us that Peter Whittingham slotted away to earn us a point in the game.
‘The way we came out in the second half and put them under pressure, it got the goal and got the crowd going. It was just what we wanted.’
Of course the result may have been different as Juan Cala found the net again, but saw it ruled out for offside and Ole had no complaints on that score, saying it was the right choice by the linesman as he believed it was offside at the point as well.
Would’ve been a nice slice of luck to go our way though had it stood, especially as Ole now believes following this point that two more wins would be enough in our run in, even though that would still leave it tight – he knows our challenge is simply to get one point ahead of Norwich and then try and get ahead of West Bromwich Albion and do all we can to climb higher before the full time whistle goes in the last game of the season.
In doing that as well, we have to keep our noses in front of Fulham and Sunderland as well, and Fulham are now level on points with us.
‘We’re two points behind Norwich and we have to have one more win than them in the last three. We need to finish on more points than Sunderland and Fulham. We still believe in the Easter miracle – we are raising ourselves from the dead. We need two very good performances in the next two games to give ourselves a chance.’
The gaffer ended his after match interview by heaping praise on Daehli again for his performance, saying he is more than proving that he is worthy of a place in the team after joining us back in January when Ole joined the club, and he also confirmed that Bellamy was missing after picking up a virus this week.
Whilst Ole believes that for the majority of the game we definitely deserved more than a draw, he acknowledges that Stoke could’ve won it right at the death, so even if we were leading we’d have finished with a point, but again applauds David Marshall for another top performance in helping us to earn the point ultimately by the save he pulled off at the end.
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