You played the first round of the (Worthington) Cup last night and came through 4:1. The score doesn't really suggest it but you had pretty big difficulties defeating this Div 2 team.
Brentford was hungry for victory. As for our side, we started that game very badly, taking in a goal. From then on we didn't have a choice, we had to wake up. We had trouble developing our game but with the experience of the team, we knew how to take them on and equalise. As the game wasn't decided at the end of the first 90 minutes we had to go into extra time. And everything avanced towards the end of the match. We scored our 3 goals in the second half of extra time.
How did the match go for you?
I didn't get too many balls. The players still have trouble finding me on the pitch but that will improve with time. The necessary routines will develop. Anyway, at the end of the match I was exhausted. I had played 90 minutes last Saturday and last night I was on the pitch for 120 minutes. Towards the end my legs were a bit heavy.... Still I made the decisive pass for the second goal.
In your fourth game for Newcastle (three League and one Cup match) you got your third yellow card. Was it justified?
No, absolutely not (laughs). Yesterday, the ref went a bit over the top. The defender grabs my shirt and I fall. In the end I get booked for diving. And not at all for rough play or any other reason. Just like the first two (yellow cards), by the way. It was absolutely not justified. Now I have to avoid getting a third yellow in the League because if I do I will be suspended for the following match.
On Saturday, you will receive Manchester United and their team of stars, comprising Barthez, Blanc, Veron, Beckham... Looks as if it's going to be difficult game.
That one is going to be a big match. We will have to be on our guard because otherwise we are sure to run into problems. But with the arrival of Sylvain Distin our defence can be even more solid. He started training this morning and I hope he will play in Saturday's match. Incidentally, he's with me here at my house this very moment. I would have liked him to say a few words to you but he's on the phone right now. But since we're going to be together a lot it's just postponed. Anyway, I know that he's really delighted having joined the Magpies. He hasn't played for a while and it will do him a lot of good to take up normal training again, together with all his team mates, as that had not been the case at PSG.
With the 120 minutes you (the team) played last night and the cancellation of their CL match there is a risk of ManU being a bit fitter physically. Are you worried?
Sure, that could be tough. But in this kind of match you can only rise above yourself. It's a match we simply must not mess up and knowing the English a bit better by now I know that we will not give up anything. We will be ready, I'm certain.
It's safe to assume that all Newcastle supporters are impatiently awaiting this match.
They always want to win here (SJP). Whatever the team is (we're playing) we have to get the three points and nothing else. The fiercest game of the year is (the Derby) against Sunderland but it's true - when you have ManU here it's very special too. They are the team to beat and we will do what we can to get out on top. I'll tell you next week. Cheers.