Quick Kicks: Thoughts & Reaction On The Capital One Cup Final

Michael Regan

Better late than never, we provide some more further thoughts on the Capital One Cup final.

What The Gaffer Said

I said all the way along, I wanted to see a team that showed the fans that we wanted to win the trophy and to have a go out there and I think we did that today.

We did very well, we gave Man City very few chances and we were good on the ball. Then we just hoped that no one would come along with something spectacular, unfortunately Yaya Toure scored an absolutely world class goal and it completely changed the game.

We had a real good go. I made some changes to the side and the players tried their best, we had a couple of half chances near the end and it's sad that we've lost the game.

I told the players that I am very proud of them, they are very disappointed but I couldn't have asked for any more. Man City had that extra bit of class and it went in their favour today.

The plan we had before the game worked for the first 45 minutes, it was difficult for some players not to be involved today but that's my job to make decisions and pick the team.

We're all down right now but we need to make sure we recover this week and come back. We've another chance in a cup and for sure we need to do all we can to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

I lost my first-ever final as a player and then came back the next year to win; why can we not do this again?

I want us to take the way we approached the game today into all of our remaining games, if we do I know we'll be alright for sure.

The fans were outstanding; they were on top of the Man City fans all of the time; they made more noise and they wanted it more.

We couldn't have approached the game better in my point of view; the players felt what it meant to the fans when we arrived at the ground.

The team bus pulled up and it was an incredible feeling - the noise the fans made, I'm 100% sure they were the best fans today; I'm just disappointed we couldn't celebrate with them.

Once again all salient points from Poyet, and nothing you can really argue with.

Lost But Not Beaten

This was very much the feeling post-match. On paper the score would look like a comprehensive Manchester City win but it was far from that.

Everyone I spoke to on the concourses and around the ground all felt the same prior to kick off -- so long as we don't embarrass ourselves, we'll be fine -- and we didn't embarrass ourselves at all. It was a very good performance that would have beaten probably 14 or 15 of the other Premier League teams had we faced them.

Surprise Selections Rise To Occasion

There were a few gambles it seemed in Gus Poyet's lineup. No Jozy Altidore at all, Fabio Borini through the middle for the first time in a game that matters, Seb Larsson in ahead of the in-form Emanuele Giaccherini.

All gambles, all paid off and we were rewarded with excellent performances by those put in, and we didn't miss those who missed out for one second.

Whilst not a surprise selection, Lee Cattermole proved once again to Poyet that despite the Uruguayan's favoritism for Liam Bridcutt, he's not going to give up his place in the team any time soon.

Fletcher's Miss

Something in my waters told me before the game that there would be someone to bear the brunt of the inevitable defeat. A own goal, a sending off -- something like that that. A missed chance it proved to be and that of which Steven Fletcher fluffed towards the end of normal time.

I don't think I, Poyet or even the man himself will ever understand why he opted to try and control it rather than just put this less favored foot through it and past Costel Pantilimon, but that will be his cross to bear for some time now.

London Is Red And White

Arriving on Saturday, it took until about an hour before the game, next to the statue of Bobby Moore, to see Manchester City fans in any number.

With a reported 31,000 Sunderland ticket holders for the big game it certainly felt like there were a lot more in attendance, and especially so in Covent Garden on Saturday evening where the place was taken over.

Lurching from one street to another, it was a complete take over of the district. Wembley Way the next day was no different either.

Not just that there were numbers, the atmosphere was brilliant too. The chanting, the the joking, the talking to some bloke you've never met like you've known each other for ages. Mutual love among each other for one common goal. It was magnificent.

Mutual Appreciatation

The look on the faces of some sections of the Manchester City bench, and to a lesser extent some sections of the crowd seemed a bit "well that's nice" about winning.

Outside in the masses trying to get back to Wembley Park Tube Station it was different. Something I've not seen before in over 25+ years following the Lads home and away, which was the general applause and well wishing from one set of fans towards each other.

Well done's, hand shakes and best wishes for the rest of the season exchanged from one set to another, culminating in a rousing rendition of "Niall Quinn's Disco Pants" from all involved.

Wonderful scenes.

Back To The Matter At Hand?

I've mulled it over since the final whistle. Do I want to be going back potentially twice with the Hull game on the horizon? This cup run has been magical from start to finish, and a nice distraction, but for me we have to prioritize staying in the Premier League now.

I'm not for one second suggesting we tank it against Hull this weekend, but if we got beat I wouldn't be overly disappointed as we can play catch-up in the League and hopefully move way from the relegation zone.

Obviously if we are back at Wembley then it's fantastic for the area and the club, but for me personally, it's all about staying up now.

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