Every word Patrick Vieira said on pitch invasions, Man United win, Wilfried Zaha and transfers

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Great way to finish the season?

It’s been a really good season and this was the best way to end the season. We managed to win the game against United [which is good] because of what they represent in the Premier League. I was really pleased because we won and we had another clean sheet at home. It’s a good end to the season.

What can you do next season?

It’s all about as a manager, as a coach with the staff, keep maintaining the level of quality of the players. And of course, with the way we work and expecting them to improve. To try to bring those couple of players that will help us to be stronger as a team. We have to keep challenging ourselves and we want to be ambitious. And then after, of course, we have to perform to allow ourselves to be in a good part of the table.

How do you reflect on the season?

I think it’s been really good. I’m really happy with the staff, the technical staff, the medical staff, and the way we work. We managed to have players training every day and the majority of players are available for selection. It’s been positive. It’s good that I did not listen to what people were expecting me to achieve this season. I put my head down and with the rest of the staff we worked well and we worked hard. We went through a difficult period but we did not change our philosophy. We knew where we wanted to go and even in a difficult period, we managed to stick together and now if you look at where we are I’m pleased with that.

READ MORE: Patrick Vieira responds to Everton pitch invasion confrontation and sends FA clear warning

How are you personally feeling after your first season in Premier League management?

It’s been really good because it’s not easy when you come into a football club and there’s a really big turnaround and young players are coming through. Of course, there’s always going to be a question about whether those players will adapt themselves. There is a question about the young new manager coming into the Premier League. There’s a question mark over if he can deal with the pressure of the game. But the support has been fantastic. From the sporting director Dougie [Freedman] to the chairman, we work well. And we always had a clear idea about where we wanted to go. We knew that during the season, there will be a difficult period, but we always managed to stick together and try to take the positive and that helped us to manage those difficult periods. So the support has been really good.

How do you think Jesurun Rak-Sakyi did today?

He played two games against Chelsea and United, so it has been challenging and difficult. But he showed some quality, and he is a really promising young talent. We have to create that kind of pathway for those young players to play more minutes. In the next couple of days and weeks, we will have some decisions to make regarding his future, of course.

How is Marc Guehi?

[His ankle] is swollen quite a lot, so we will just have to wait a couple of days to see how the swelling will go down.

How much can Rak-Sakyi learn from Wilfried Zaha?

Yeah, like Wilfried and Jeffrey Schlupp, those players who know the Premier League well and played their part in helping him feel confident and play as best as he can. In the dressing room, we have some positive leaders that he can take from and try to improve. I was really pleased with his 66 minutes.

Has anyone taken him under their wing?

He’s close to Wilfried, he is close to Jeff – there is a really good group of players. Will Hughes spoke a lot with him at half-time and before the game. He needs those kinds of words that can build his confidence.

What will a decision on his future entail?

All the options are on the table – we just need to find the best way for him to keep improving himself and to play games. This is what we need to reflect on.

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Still angry or regretful about the Everton incident?

The Everton incident is bigger than just that incident. If you look at the Premier League there were a lot of invasions that cause trouble. I think there is a real issue here to reflect on to manage it and to deal with it.

Did you fear for yourself or the players’ safety?

You do not know what can happen. And when you do not know what can happen, of course, you fear anything for the players. We want to be safe and the best way to do that is really to reflect on what is the best way for those kinds of stuff to not happen. As a coach, a manager, and staff, we want to be safe in our workplace. There is a big issue on the FA, Premier League plate to deal with. They need the support of the club and the players to get involved. I do not think it’s the only FA to get involved, the Premier League and everybody has to take responsibility to see what is the best way for these things to not happen anymore.

Know if you’ll be fined?

I’m not there yet. I will participate with the FA and talk about the incident and give my opinion and my view and again it’s not only about that incident. It’s about all the incidents and I think it happens too often in the last couple of weeks. We need to reflect on that and make a decision so players, staff and even fans can be safe to watch.

Wilfried Zaha ends with 14 league goals for the season – a good campaign?

There are two ways of seeing it. The first is that he scored 14 and also I think he had really good opportunities during the season to score about 20-24 I would say. That means there is a side that he has to improve. Saying that, every game at home and away there’s a guy who I can trust. When he is on the field he plays, he fights and he is a winner. It’s been a really good season and I hope more to come from him.

What do you do to push him?

The team has to play better and I think there’s a potential to play better and create more chances to allow him and the forward players to score more goals. We scored a good number of goals this season but we can score more.

Would you like to bring Conor Gallagher back?

The fans love him, I love him and the players in the dressing room respect and love him. I think it was a really good season for Conor. I think what makes us proud as a team and as a football club is that he spent a year with us and he’s leaving this football club as a really different player. He’s an international player now. We played our part in that and if you look at the way he played today, he played his part during the season. It’s a win-win. And now the decision is in his hands and with Chelsea. We are really pleased and happy with the year he spent with us and we wish him good luck and all the best. We will keep following and we will have to wait and see what is going to happen. But of course, we may have a player in the squad who could already replace him.

With wins against United, City, Spurs and Arsenal is it important you keep that mentality going into next season?

We just have to keep challenging ourselves and against those teams that you just mentioned, I think we performed well. We knew that we had to be at our best to get the result. But next year, we have to go to different levels to try to be more consistent about the way we perform and regardless of the team that we are facing. I think this year it was a real lack of consistency now performance.

How was Joel Ward’s performance at center-back today?

We speak out the positive role model that I like to have in the dressing room and we have a couple of those players. Wardy you can play him as a left-back, as a right0back or as a center-back. He’s just happy to be on the field and to give the best for the team. Today, as a center-back, we did not have time to work on that, but he put his heart on the field and worked hard and fought. It’s so good for us to have players like that.

Players playing their last game for the club today, important to replace them well?

I think it is always important to have the right balance between young players and experience between how many players come in and how many are leaving. Those players give a lot to this football club and this is why this window will be massively important for us and the fewer mistakes we make, the better it will be.

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