“We played the semi knowing that Cardiff were already there and I just remember the build up towards the game. I always go through a team and spend time with analysis, looking at their strengths and weaknesses, who plays where and I thought they were OK. They’re not going to pass you off the park, but the one thing they did do was press and work for each other.
Also, on set-pieces, this side were dangerous because they had good delivery with Whitts and long throws when the centre backs come forward. I came away from that thinking that it was going to be a tough game.
Now if I had played with Suarez, it would have been over. We would have had too much movement and been too quick because for Mark Hudson, Anthony Gerrard and Ben Turner. Pace was going to be a problem, especially on a big pitch like Wembley. If we went with Andy Carroll, I thought Cardiff would be OK with that because they’ll be able to win headers.
This team won’t quit. They will roll their sleeves up and fight for every ball. I love that type of team. As much as I love playing, I love pressing, winning the ball and wining your duels. Without that, you can’t have the ball. It’s no coincidence Cardiff got to the final.
I was on the bench and in the lead up to it, I wanted Liverpool to win because I want to win, but I want these boys to do well too! What a great moment it would be for them. Liverpool have won fifty odd trophies and Cardiff City has won one. Would it be that harsh to give them another one?! Liverpool would come again.
Exactly what I thought about Cardiff happened. They never gave up. We got away with one near the end because the ball came swinging in and we just about cleared it. I remember thinking that was their chance gone, but we couldn’t get it out! We had opportunities to break, but couldn’t get up the pitch because they kept coming.
It was just a matter of time. There was nothing more we could do because we didn’t have the ball. There was a set-piece, then a throw in. It was stop, start. If we could have got it up the other end of the pitch, it was game over.
The picture of Turner’s goal where you can see me grinning is because of their guts. It was typical. That is what this team does. They did not stop and I admire that. It would have been easy for them to say ‘we’ve had a great day and came close,’ but they kept going until the end and its exactly what I expected.
After the game, I picked up my trophy, but I went in to Cardiff’s changing room and spent most of my time in there. Even as we’re lifting the trophy, I was speaking to Vincent Tan. I came away from there thinking that this was a squad ready to go up.”