We did what we had to do, we knew that it was not in our hands, we knew we needed a miracle and it did not occur, that it. The league table at the end of the season does not lie. It is true that last year with 67 points Chelsea got into the Champions League and we have 69 and we are out of it but that’s the level and the demands has this league has now.
Well, we tried to give the fans everything they deserve for everything they’ve done for us and how much they have helped to come much further as a club and as a team. I cannot assess the season today, I’m sorry, I’m still in a lot of pain after what happened on Monday. I can not give a fair assessment on what we’ve done. What I can guarantee is that we’ve tried to squeeze the lemon as much as we can for every single drop and we reached the point we reached.
I know, I think we all know – and you can see the reaction of the fans towards the team – that you can see what we have on the pitch and what this club had on the pitch ten years ago or twenty years ago. We know where we have to go. I’m extremely disappointed today because we degenerated expectations that I wanted for this football club because it’s what it deserves and we came up short. The feeling of guilt and not reaching that level is painful.
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Feel like fans are on board and believe in project?
Absolutely, they have given me many reasons throughout the season, and they have shown with the way they turn up, the atmosphere they’ve built home and away for these players. They can see what we’re doing, what the players want to do, how they represent the club, the values on and off the pitch, who we are as a group. And then we have the level that we have and it has not been enough. We have to make a clear assessment on that and how we take the club to the next level. If we want to do that, we know what we have to do.
Eddie performance make you want to keep him?
When you see Eddie training the way he trains, he does not even need to play. You know you have a player there who is going to help you and he’s done that – look at his numbers with the amount of games he’s played. It’s terrific.
I will speak to the three players now or tomorrow and after that we need to start to move but we have clear ideas of what we want to do.
No decision made?
It’s been decided but it’s very difficult to communicate it. What they deserve is to have a bit of what they had today. To do it earlier, one way or the other, with three situations like that is very, very awkward and it could effect the team so as a club we have to do the right thing in the right moment and sometimes combining those two is not easy at all.
Young players progress…
I’m extremely proud and even surprised about how far they’ve come. This is part of the decision we made last summer, that if we want to get to a certain level those players normally get to that level in the peak of their careers and obviously they’re not there but they are moving fast. They’re giving us hope that with them we can raise the level to the level we want.
Club found it hard to get top four since Wenger…
The standard of this club has to be to win. The moment we do not look at that with a time-frame of when we are going to do that, we are not going to get there. So my aim is to win trophies and my plan is to win here and [I know] what we have to to before that to get to that level.
On players out of contract – have to be ruthless?
From my side and as a club we will do what we have to do and do what we think is the best thing for the club to move forward – and do it with the integrity and honesty that we’ve always done it. Those players know individually their situations, when it is going to be communicated, and that situation will happen face-to-face, the way they deserve.
Satisfaction of Europa League?
Today, I do not get much, if I’m honest. I’m still in pain. I need the dust to settle, I need to go and get a few days on holiday because I do not think today I’m going to reflect the season the way it is. But at the same time, I’m very grateful for everybody supporting our club, the way they’re giving us confidence, respect and motivation to drive forward because I think they believe in what we’re doing.
But when you have it there – I’m a winner and I hate losing and we lost something we could win. That’s why I’m in pain.