Prior to kick-off today, Malky Mackay called for his young squad ‘Do themselves justice.’ – in the long run, they didn’t…
Post match Mackay said:
‘These are top European players and their standard was shown today, up close and personal.
‘You need to start well if you’re going to play against world-class players and I think in the first 20 minutes of the match, we were certainly very slow out of the traps.
‘I think in the second half we changed slightly, putting Ross Jenkins on and we made sure that for 20 minutes we had a real good go at them.’
‘A combination of starting slowly and conceding three goals doesn’t help your situation when you’re playing away at Chelsea.’
In the second 45 minutes, the Hornets visabily changed and improved, thanks to a teamtalk from their manager.
‘It’s one of those situations that you need to make sure that you keep your cool and keep calm but have a bit of belief in the fact that you have a second half to play’ said Malky.
‘Three nil down and I said to them, ‘let’s go and score a goal’. We certainly showed a lot more belief in the second half and got closer than we did in the first 45 minutes.
‘I thought the first two goals in the first half we’re harsh, in terms of deflections that could go anywhere and you can’t help that.’ Concluded Mackay.
His counterpart, Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for young scorer, Daniel Sturridge:
‘It was a good performance and Sturridge played very well. It’s important for us to have him in good condition because, without Drogba, it is important to have him in good condition.
‘He scored two goals and that’s important for a striker, to score. But he deserved that. He played very well for the whole match.
‘This performance was very important for him. It’ll improve his confidence. He has a lot of potential and great quality, and he can show that on the pitch in January.’
The Hornet’s F.A Cup adventue is ended for a second year running by Chelsea, and it’s back to business as usual with Sheffield United at home on Saturday.