The gaffer was naturally asked about Saint-Maximin’s display after a hat-trick of assists, but also chose to credit midfield duo Shelvey and Bentaleb – who looked slick in possession and strong off the ball – the two centre-backs Lascelles and Fernandez, and Gayle for taking his big chance “very, very well”.
Here’s what Bruce had to say when asked to name the players who impressed him on the night after making six changes:
“I thought Jonjo did well.
“I thought Nabil did well.
“I thought Emil Krafth did fantastically well after not featuring for a while.
“I thought the two centre-halves were excellent.
“It was nice for Dwight who took his chance very, very well.”
“You can go round the whole team.
“To win 4-1 away from home in the PL takes some doing.”
Fair play to Krafth, a player who many had written off as a summer flop, yet someone who came in and did a very good job considering it’s his first start since January!
It was a brilliant display all round that saw just about everyone play well, but special mention should also go to Lazaro, who grasped his opportunity from the bench with both hands to add another dynamic to our attacking options.
Bruce then revealed that the aim now is to make a late-surge towards the top 10, saying it would be ‘some achievement’ to do so after many wrote us off last summer:
“If we can do that (get into the top ten)] it would be great for everybody concerned,”
“I would be delighted if we could. It would be some achievement.”
A lot of people wrote everybody off but they’ve responded in the right way and I’m delighted for them.”
Our most dominant performance of the season and one that sends us past the 40 point mark and back in the mix for a top 10 finish.
If only we approached Sunday’s quarter final with the same belief, but there can’t be too many complaints after picking up 7 points from a possible 9 since Premier League football returned!