Despite his snood, Damart thermals, three pairs of socks, gloves, balaclava and hooded top to brave the Arctic chills, Gus Poyet was too ill to do anything but rush home to a warm duvet and a Lemsip after this important victory. So it was left to his assistant Charlie Oatway to rush down to the SAFC laptop and e-mail M Salut (and a few thousand others) with the immediate post match response.
It’s a tough league and playing Stoke, it’s not an easy game no matter whether it’s home or away. They’re always going to make it very difficult for you and everyone knows that, everyone in the league knows that. We started off fantastically and they gradually got into the game a little bit more.
There was a lot of pressure on the boys and we managed to get the result.
We constantly talk about the strikers following up and doing the basics of scoring goals and thankfully Johnno [Adam Johnson] managed to do that tonight and he’s carried on the little roll that he’s been on at the moment. It was good that he’s done something so black and white in the game like following up a shot and he managed to get us the points.
You’re playing Stoke and you know at points in the game you’re going to have to be brave and the boys did that in abundance. Of course, we’ll go through it tomorrow and there are little bits that we’re not happy with but overall I think the boys stood up and were counted and they defended well enough to make sure we got the points.
It’s a massive three points because of the fact that we’ve lifted out of the bottom three, so mentally for the boys that is fantastic. The other side of it is that we’re in the Premier League and we’ve got a tough run of games so it’s nice to get points on the board and it’s nice to keep that group of teams in and around us.
After the first seven, eight or nine games there was a bigger gap and now we’re clawing back a good nine or ten teams; they’re all looking over their shoulders. It’s nice to be in the pack instead of holding the pack up.
All the best,