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WIN FOR STARTERS

Posted on 1 November 2007  - 12:00

Juande Ramos stressed that the result was all important as his reign as Head Coach kicked-off with a Carling Cup win against Blackpool.

Juande Ramos stressed that the result was all important as his reign as Head Coach kicked-off with a Carling Cup win against Blackpool.

Another impressive 30,000-plus crowd was at the Lane to herald in the new era and goals from Robbie Keane and Pascal Chimbonda ensured a safe passage into the quarter-finals.

The game wasn't without scares though as Blackpool missed a golden chance before Keane's 18th-minute opener and then struck the crossbar and forced Paul Robinson into his best save of the season at 1-0 before Chimbonda's header gave us breathing space in the second half.

"The most important thing was the victory," reflected Juande. "I thought the team played well, we had spells of good football and now we have to look forward to the next round.

"On the positive side the players showed great willingness to play and fought hard for the victory, it was physically very hard especially as it was only three days since the last game.

"I suppose the negative side is that Blackpool had three or four chances to score and we shouldn't allow those chances.

"The game was how we expected, Blackpool are from a lower league but they tried as hard as they could and gave everything.

"It was very important to get a victory to give us more security, to calm the players down a bit and give us confidence. The last results have been quite negative and we needed to stop that run of results, so to get this result was vital."

Victory means we take our place in a strong quarter-final line-up alongisde Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, West Ham and Blackburn.