“Whenever you win a game in the Premier League, it always gives you a bit of a spring in your step. We’ve had quite a few good results against Man United and Southampton and we may have had a bit of a blip against Liverpool, but going away from home that was always going to be a difficult game. Since 2018 has started we’ve done really well as a squad; we’ve won a good chunk of games and I feel we’ve learned not to lose games. We’ve learned how not to lose points by making sure we draw games. We’ve definitely improved and I always said at the start of the season that the team would be better come the second half of the campaign - and we’ve proved that.
“It wasn’t ever going to be a holiday out here. We’re football players and we’ve come here to work during this big break which is 21 days in between games. It gives us a chance to work on things we need to improve on, and for some to get a little fitness for those lads who haven’t been playing as much recently with substitute appearances or whatever, so it’s good to come out and have a few training sessions, working hard in the hot weather.
“There’s always been hunger in this team, no matter whether we’ve been doing well or badly in terms of results - there’s always been desire. The lads who have been playing have been doing really, really well. Last weekend was a fantastic result, we played really well, and the lads who were on the bench wanted to play as well. It brings a lot of competition for places and you can see in the training sessions that everyone wants to do well, everyone wants to improve, which is the main thing. We have a young squad, and then you’ve got players like myself who haven’t played an awful lot of football recently. It’s about the team at the end of the day though and getting the team where it wants to be. If you’re not playing then you need to train extra hard to make sure that if you do get the chance, you’re ready to play.”