Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday April 15 2008
The game between Wigan Athletic and Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge has got a lot of people talking, but the two opinions that cut the most are the managers, Steve Bruce and Avram Grant, lets see what they have to say:
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
"I`ve only had the pleasure of working with Kirkland for four or five months and I think everybody in the game knows he just needs to keep himself fit.
"He`s proved to me he`s an outstanding goalkeeper.
"If we can keep him fit, keep him on the pitch then I don`t think there`s anybody better.
"He`s only a young boy so it`s important we look after him. Nigel Spink, who has come with me from Birmingham to work with him, has done very, very well with him.'
"Whenever you can take something from here and the position we`re in, it`s always very pleasing, but there was a spell for 20 minutes in the second half where Chelsea almost blew us away.
'But to be fair, they hung in, stuck at it, the goalkeeper`s produced some wonderful saves and we`ve got a bit of a reward from it in the end.
'35 points is usually enough, it has been for the last five years, and I hope it is.
'It`s a wonderful achievement to get to 35 points and you can see that we have the signs of being a decent team.'
'Three of the clubs below us had good results on Saturday, so to go to Chelsea and get something was a marvellous return.
'I'm pleased for the players as you can imagine - some of them ran a million miles out there.
'It was nice to see the substitutes Jason Koumas, Antoine Sibierski and
Marlon King making an impact.
'They were fresh, helped create a threat, and to get an equaliser right at the death was terrific.
'We rode our luck a few times. When Joe Cole came on in the second half, he produced an unbelievable 20-minute spell.
'Chelsea were very close to blowing us away at times in the second half but the team showed what they are about, stuck at it, and ended up with a wonderful result.
'We worked for two or three days on the training pitch about how we were going to go about it, but putting it in motion in the game is another thing.
'So I was just delighted that the work paid off and we got something out of it.
'I thought Chris Kirkland and the two centre-halves Emmerson Boyce and Paul Scharner were terrific.
'You know that your goalkeeper is going to have to play well when you go to Chelsea.
'And I think Chris is proving to people that if he stays fit, he can go all the way to being England's top keeper.'
Chelsea boss Avram Grant:
'We are still in the title race, but it is more difficult now. We still have a chance, of course,"
"Second-half we played wonderfully, our best performance and we created a lot of chances.
"But we did not score the second goal, and if you do not pay attention, that is what happens. It was great football, we created a lot of chances, but it is one of our problems this year.
"We create a lot of chances, but we don`t take advantage more than 10 or 20 percent of the time.
"It is maybe due to a lack of concentration."
Well there you have it
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Date:Tuesday April 15 2008
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