Thoughts from Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Chris Smalling, and Sam Allardyce after Manchester United's 1-0 FA Cup Round 3 replay defeat of West Ham United.
Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of MUTV)
(On his centre-back duo...) "[Phil] Jones and [Chris] Smalling were fantastic, absolutely brilliant. The two of them were absolutely marvelous and I couldn’t be more pleased. They have been injured for a while and needed games, so today would only help them."
(On other players needing a game...) "We have several other players who needed a game like Nani, [Wayne] Rooney, Anderson and [Alexander] Büttner. So we had six players who had a run-out at a crucial time of the season with Real Madrid coming up and Tottenham on Sunday, so that is good news for us tonight."
(Overall thoughts...) "We missed a lot of chances tonight really and we played some good football at times. The 15 minute period after half-time was the hardest for us because they just knocked that ball into the box, there were so many bodies all shoving all over the place. You really have to handle that and thankfully our two centre-halves were absolutely magnificent in how they dealt with it. It was a physical contest to be under and you have to stand up to it."
(On Manchester United's scoring chances...) "It was a magnificent pass from Anderson for the first goal and it was unselfish play from Chicharito to roll it across for Wayne, who scored an easy goal. We had one cleared off the line from Nani, Chris Smalling could maybe have done better with his header that went into the goalkeeper’s hands and Chicharito missed a chance, plus we missed a penalty kick. All in all, we created a lot of chances."
(On the Round 4 draw with Fulham on January 26...) "It’s a home draw, we’ll take it every time."
Ryan Giggs | MUFC midfielder (courtesy of MUTV)
(On the result...) "In the FA Cup anything can happen. We’re relieved to be in the next round."
(Overall thoughts...) "We got off to a great start but then we didn’t capitalise on that. We were a little bit sloppy in the last third. West Ham made it difficult for us. We should have built on that early goal. But credit to West Ham – they’re a tough team to play against. You’re always concerned when it’s only 1-0, no matter who you’re playing. But especially against West Ham – they can cause you problems from set pieces and when they put the ball into the box. We needed to get that second goal, but luckily we hung on."
(On Wayne Rooney's missed penalty...) "Wayne, under pressure, has scored so many crucial penalties for us. It’s not so bad when it doesn’t alter the result, but Wayne will be disappointed because he wants to score goals."
Chris Smalling | MUFC defender (courtesy of MUTV)
(On the result, and on the draw with his former club, Fulham...) "Before this game, we knew we'd get a home draw and whoever it was against would be strong opponents. I saw some highlights of the Fulham game [at Blackpool] and it will be a nice game come Saturday week. At least we're at home and we fancy ourselves."
(On the desire to win the FA Cup -- it hasn't been won since 2004...) "It does mean a lot. I know Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes [and Darren Fletcher] are the only players who have won it and Rio and others have emphasised how important it is that they want to get on it. We want to help that."
(On playing alongside Phil Jones at centre-back...) "All the defenders know each other as we play a lot together in training. We've not played too much together in matches but we're both centre-halves and both out there to do a job."
(On playing against West Ham...) "It's the third time we've played them this year and we knew exactly what to expect. You can stop giving away cheap fouls but you know it's coming into the box at one stage and everyone needs to stand up for themselves."
(On the clean sheet...) "We're starting to pick up a couple of clean sheets, which is nice. The whole team defended well and, luckily, we kept a clean sheet."
(On Giggs' wonderful performance...) "From the first minute to the 90th minute, he was doing jinking runs. He did great for the penalty which was near the end of the game. He is just a machine."
Sam Allardyce | West Ham manager (courtesy of WHUFC.com)
(Overall thoughts...) "First and foremost it was a bizarre goal that we gave away. There was no reason or need to let Chicarito in so easily. We should have been tracking him and there was no pressure on the ball from Anderson. Instead of stepping up to play offside, which we couldn't do, it became an easy and simple goal for them to take.
"Before that and after that our performance was very, very good and certainly for the 20 minutes or more of the second half, we continued to press and test Manchester United's resolve. Unfortunately, because of our incapacity to put a chance in the back of the net at the moment, we couldn't find a goal.
"At one stage in the second half, Rafael clearly handled the ball - there is no doubt about that. The referee was in the perfect position but he didn't give it. Because he didn't give it, it didn't allow us to get back into the game at that particularly time by scoring from the penalty spot. Who knows what might have happened there? We could have easily have won the game and gone through to the next round because we were the stronger side at the time.
"Then, of course, the disappointing thing happens up the other end. I know Wayne Rooney missed the penalty and it kept us in the game, it was probably justice in the end. Jordan Spence did handle the ball, but he didn't handle it any worse or any more than Rafael handled it. If you are going to give them a penalty, you have got to give us a penalty.
"The referee has no excuse for his position because I've looked on the laptop, but that's not the reason why we have lost. It has contributed, but the reason we lost is because we didn't score despite creating so many chances at Old Trafford."
(On his side's performance...) "We made tactical changes with a shortage of defenders and Alou Diarra stepped into the back-three and was very, very good. Apart from the goal we conceded, Alou, James Tomkins and Winston Reid were very good defensively. We frustrated Manchester United and played with wing-backs - young lads who kept Nani, Ryan Giggs and Valencia very quiet. "That allowed our midfield to start playing. We had two up top and tried to play off Vaz Te and Carlton Cole and it allowed us to create and get into the final third and Manchester United's box, but we couldn't find the opportunity to score. We had plenty of good chances to do that, but unfortunately couldn't."