United boss Steven Pressley admitted that Hallam Hope’s match winning goal on Saturday had led to a ‘Jurgen Klopp’ moment as he found himself celebrating on the pitch as the striker’s fourteenth goal of the season hit the back of the net.
“I actually do think I was on the pitch when we scored the winner!” he said. “I went a bit ‘Jurgen Klopp’ but anybody who has worked with me knows I’m an emotional manager and a hugely passionate manager.
“When you go through a rollercoaster of a game like that it’s very, very hard to control your emotions, but that’s what the game is all about. Being honest, I don’t know what I was thinking.
“The reason you’re a manager and the reason we all love football is because of things like this. It touches every emotion possible – disappointment, frustration, anger and then, of course, euphoria.
“It’s an extreme high, but once you’ve celebrated the goal you have to find calmness again, because there’s still three or four minutes to see through. It’s important to get yourself grounded quickly because I’ve seen it many times where teams concede again having felt like they’d just won the game.”
Speaking more about the game, he told us: “I mentioned during the week leading up to the game that if we could get a win it would feel like a smog had been lifted around the place, and it does feel like that.
“We’ll all have a better week after a win, there’s no doubt about that, and we should take confidence from this. It was an amazing day for us. It maybe wasn’t our best performance but in terms of passion, desire and mentality it was probably everything we’ve been asking for.
“Those are key ingredients for any successful team, and we scored high with all of them in this game. Sometimes when you’re a manager and you work really hard on certain aspects, you can find yourself questioning things when results don’t quite come.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the group because that was a proper performance. That’s the type of performance which also makes the supporters feel very proud of their team.
“I have no problem with negative reactions. I’ve never hidden from it as a manager and I never will. I think my style is something which hopefully will endear the fans to me, in time. I will continue to work really hard and I’ll look to improve the players I work with as much as I can.
“The reception at the end of the game couldn’t have been better towards me, and that kind of thing is good to see. It shows how 45 minutes can make such a difference in football. If we hadn’t won that game it would have been a long way back, both in terms of points and the psychological affect it has on your team.
“What I will say is that I don’t think we’ve been carrying any sort of luck. I think we’ve played well but, at moments in games when you need a break, I don’t think it’s gone for us. Days like this can kick-start your season because it gives everybody hope again.”
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