Was that a vision of how you want the team to play?
Yeah very close to it. What I like the most is the way the team reacted on Monday evening, how we finished the game and how they were in the dressing room. Accepting that it wasn’t good enough. That we played to a really good level in some parts, but to a level that was not acceptable in others. We are the youngest team in the league, but this is not an excuse. We cannot change the age so we cannot find these kind of excuses. We have to find why those sort of things happen in the games and find the right solutions and then put them right. We have to believe we can play at that level because they can.
Villa were unhappy with the penalty award. How did you see that because it was awarded at 46:56?
VAR obviously didn’t give us anything against Palace. I think it’s a penalty. The timing there I think you can discuss if the time was right. But if you asked me to have a judgement on the action for me it’s a penalty.
You’re back into the top half of the table which must be nice?
It is nice. Again we had a tough start and we’ve been more consistent with results, with performances. There are still things that we must do better, but today I’m really satisfied with the performance and the result.
I think it could have gone for anybody. I think individually they were all terrific. If you ask about Thomas, about Sambi, about Nuno as well about the central defenders, anybody. I think the way they played it was high, high level. Emile was terrific. He’s scoring goals, which is something we demand he does because he’s capable of doing it. I think it’s about the whole team today.
Emile Smith Rowe is getting more goals and assists now. Is this finally the end product you really want to see from him?
That should be a habit and he should demand that in his game because he’s capable of doing it. I’m happy he’s developing and he still needs to develop more. I think tonight as well. The other night he wasn’t 100% fit and he stepped forward and Emile wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had, he’s still playing he’s looking forward, he’s really determined. He’s changed the way he’s living a bit and some habits that he had. He was superb.
Does that kind of performance show why bids of £25-30million were never going to be enough to tempt Arsenal to sell him to Aston Villa?
It’s the perfect example of why we want to keep him. Why we are giving the opportunity to do what he can do with the club.