Giroud’s supporting cast also deserve plenty of credit for how we played in Spain
‘When you play Oli you know his attributes. It’s important we get a lot of energy around him, people that can run off him, support him. He has the qualities to hold the ball up obviously, and quality with balls in the box like N’Golo puts in.
‘So I loved all those parts of us at the top end of the pitch, having made nine changes in a game, because as I said players are deserving to play, because I see them training well. Some players can get their heads down if they’re not playing lots of minutes and that’s always a worry when you make that level of changes.
‘But the focus and concentration of the team, in the moments you suffer which you always will do against a team like this. In the first half we dealt with things, we defended well, we were organised and some of our play was great. Whether it was our comfort on the ball or whether it was our counter-attacking at pace to cause a threat to them, there were so many big pluses from tonight and we need to continue with that.’
Plenty of players’ performances gave him difficult selection decisions to make for our next game against Leeds
‘That’s what you ask for I suppose when you make nine changes. I always say when I pick the team I try and pick the best team for the game and not to have favourites as such. You try and put the best team on paper. When players play as they did today they give you a great problem. It’s not a problem, that’s the wrong way to describe it, it’s just having a top player playing with quality, playing with dedication.’