Axel reflects on a job well done
We spoke to Axel Tuanzebe after the final whistle about Scott McTominay, Eric Bailly and a massive week ahead…
First things first, you're through. It might have been a bit of a scrappy game, but you've done the job and you're in that hat... "Yeah, that's what most important. That's what we said after the game: that we're through. Sometimes, games like this are scrappy, a lot of changes to the team, it's hard to have a rhythm, a pattern of play, but it's job done." For yourself, it's great to see you back on the pitch and getting some minutes under your belt... "Yeah, I'm feeling alright. I would obviously love to get more minutes, so I can constantly keep my performances up. Obviously the team are doing well so the only way in is really to force myself in with the chances that I do get." The manager says you're continuing to work really hard on the training ground, and when these opportunities come you just have to be ready... "Yeah, exactly that, and sometimes it can just come out of the blue. But the main thing today is that we kept a clean sheet and we won the game." There was a nasty injury to Eric [Bailly] - have you seen him? How is he, do you know? "He's fine. He's alright - that's the main thing. It's good to see that he's alright. He's a warrior, that's what he does for us – he gets in the way of things. So it's good to see that he's alright and he should be training in the next week or so." He certainly is a warrior. As for Watford, they put up a really spirited display... "Yeah, respect to Watford. We said it before the game: they're a very tough-spirited side. Give them their props: even though they had changes to the team, we know their ethos, their culture. So we knew that we had to perform today to get the victory." And then for all of you, it's all about recovering and getting ready for the Premier League game against Burnley and, shortly after that, Liverpool. The games are coming thick and fast... "Yeah, exactly. We want to be top of the league, you know, and this is the time to do it. Two games that can really cement our position at the top and we just bounce on from there." And of course there's so many games at this time of the season. You're all going to get chances, the squad's going to continually be rotated, and it must be good to have a big robust squad right now? "Most definitely. For one it prevents injuries, it gives everyone opportunities to perform, spots [become] open, nobody can be lacking [and] it keeps competition high. So that's the positive thing about it." And just one final thing: the winning goal was scored by Scott McTominay. A fantastic header? "Yeah, we worked it yesterday. A little set-piece that paid off. But when it came to my turn it didn't work! But yeah, no problem. Congratulations to him - he got us the victory."