Further on that, is it going to be a distraction, the protest, for the players? Because obviously, it’s a huge game…
“The players are focused on the game and nothing else. They have handled difficult situations before. Of course, it was a strange week before the Leeds game after the Super League announcement, but I have got to say that I am not worried for one second that our mind is not on the football when it happens. I think you saw here tonight that the players are fully, fully focused on performing.”
Bruno [Fernandes] seemed to take responsibility in the second half, [he] really stepped up into the game. He’s obviously performed well against Liverpool recently. Is that the kind of character you want in your team in these final stages, where you got players like Bruno steering the situation that might be going in a bad way and taking responsibility?
“I think the whole team took responsibility, of course, Bruno [Fernandes] was part of that as well. We picked an experienced team to handle setbacks, to be able to handle setbacks. It was a big plus for me the way Bruno, Paul [Pogba], Edinson [Cavani], Marcus [Rashford], even at his young age, the runs he made in the second half he might not get the credit for it, but his movement was excellent. Against Liverpool we need experience, we need quality, we need to defend well, we need every aspect of the game because we know the quality they have got and they can hit that quality against us easily.”
What have you made of Liverpool’s season, given what they achieved last season. I’m not sure anyone would be predicting for them to fight for a Champions League spot. What have you made of their season so far?
“I think we all, before this season, had worries how this season is going to go for the players. They have had bad injuries this season. This season has been more different to any other season in modern football. So I am just focused on ourselves. I cannot say anything about Liverpool’s season. I have not really watched them too closely and followed them because I have got my own club and problems and challenges.”