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REACTION: Charlton Athletic 0 Blues 1

It's a massive step forward for us, because for the result and a second away win against an in-form side it makes it more special.

Pep Clotet

Pep Clotet speaks to the press after Saturday's win over Charlton Athletic at the Valley...

Pep Clotet on the result... 

"It's a massive step forward for us, because for the result and a second away win against an in-form side it makes it more special. We knew we would have to do everything right, all the attitude from my players had to be right. We managed to be very strong defensively, we were able to stamp our football on the pitch which is what we set out to do."

Pep Clotet on the performance...

"I am very happy with our performance, I thought the level of performance was particularly pleasing, we took the game to Charlton, it is a tough place to play. We took what we had been doing in training onto the pitch. Everything worked well, we were flowing, we are looking more and more comfortable, our players are getting to know each other better, which is making everything we want to do become more clearer for everyone. We were strong defensively, the first proper save that Lee Camp had to make was in the 72nd minute, we dominated the right areas and that gave us a lot of success today."

Pep Clotet on Jude Bellingham's goal, display and role wide on the left...

"Jude is proof that we trust what we do with the academy, in that you cannot buy in football the feeling our fans have. The feeling we have for Jude to come in now, that's something we're very proud of. I want to remind him of the importance of this chance. It's not only me giving the chance but the team. I took a little bit of a risk today because he played three games with England, plus a game against Stoke in the last two weeks. We saw he had a little bit of cramp at the end of the game. I think he was the perfect player for that position and that role today - so we took that risk. Obviously he handles the load of the games and training differently to the pros because his body does not have the experience. I will use him for his abilities but I will always try to handle the risk. It was not an easy position to play. You have to do a lot of defensive work, out wide, and stay inside as well a bit narrow as he was a narrow winger. He was more like an 'outside' midfielder than a normal winger. You need to understand the position perfectly and he got better and better at it. Those runs he was making (like the one for the goal) and when he had to play the way he played, it showed he has a fantastic talent and vision. It's up to us to keep helping him have a good career here and praise the whole team for at the end of the day he's part of a team who were ideal to help him score that goal."

Pep Clotet on being asked if this was one of Blues best away performances...

"Yes. I am delighted. For the whole Club. The players showed a fantastic attitude and there was a lot of intelligence from them on the pitch.
We had a very good talk in the Club this week with our owners and their support, they made very clear where we are going and that helped us massively. It was very good preparation during the whole week as well. This is how we want to play, this is what we want. We still have to tweak a lot of things and work and improve. But it was a most improved away performance after the last two. The way we did it, it shows how much as Club we are all behind what we want to do. That goal showed how well the team can play going forward away from home and when we suffered pressure in the last few minutes, how we can also withstand that and play a good standard of football our fans that makes our fans pleased. To produce a goal like that, very happy. But still, I am very focused. I know we haven't performed well at Forest or Swansea, that was in the back of my mind. I want to make sure we keep growing and growing."

Pep Clotet on Maxime Colin's outstanding contribution...

"I think all our players were above an eight out of 10 and Maxime was among them as well. He did something very good: he defended very well and understood his role by linking very well with Dan Crowley (who played in front, on the right). Dan has a lot of talent offensively, so Maxime had to help him defensively. But, also, Maxime got forward very well. As we are slowly improving our football, Maxime is a player who is getting benefit. For me, the key to the game was out wide (because of Charlton's diamond). If we won it out wide, we'd win the game - we saw it like that."

 

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