Rabu, 19 September 2012

Hughes happy with Nelsen display

Nelsen: Enjoyed a productive afternoon against Torres

The pedestrian Chelsea striker concluded a disinterested performance by storming down the tunnel after being replaced by Daniel Sturridge with 10 minutes left.

Sturridge was far livelier in the Premier League clash and Hughes believes 50million marksman Torres struggled against a 34-year-old free signing.

Adding to Nelsen's achievement was that he only returned from Auckland on Thursday, having helped New Zealand win a World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands 48 hours earlier.

"Ryan was excellent. You know what you're going to get from him, a consistent level of performance," Hughes said.

"He's gone up against a striker of world renown and really dominated him. Given the week that's he had it's really credit to him.

"I didn't see that part of it (Torres storming down the tunnel) but maybe he was frustrated because he was finding it very difficult to have an impact on the game and that's credit to Ryan.

"Torres is a good player and he'll have better days than he did yesterday, but that was credit to my centre-half.

"I knew what I was getting with Ryan. He's 34 and the only shame is he's not 24 - though possibly he wouldn't be playing for us if he was!"

Hughes teased his former Chelsea team-mate and current Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo over the Torres-Nelsen duel when they crossed paths after the game.

But Nelsen, the All Whites' captain, gave a more humble appraisal of his performance against the Spaniard.

"It was very nice of the manager to say that, but Fernando has had a few over me in his career," the centre-back said.

"Every time I've come up against him he's been unbelievably hard. He makes very late runs, has great vision, and his finishing ability is amazing.

"I doubt he is as quick as he used to be, but while people say you lose speed, you can gain it in your mind.

"I've seen some incredibly fast players be extremely slow on the fiel d because they've not got (that speed) in their head."

Di Matteo had claimed that Nelsen was lucky to have escaped a "100% stonewall penalty" after wrestling John Terry to the ground.

"If you ask John, he just fell down. I was holding him, of course, but he just fell down. He does it to everybody in their box," Nelsen said.

"I said to him 'that was a bit embarrassing John' and he laughed when he ran off. He didn't say anything to me, I think he was too embarrassed.

"It's one of those ones that, when you're there, the ref was smart enough to see it.

"He was nowhere near the ball, was never going to win it, so he just fell down.

"He was just trying to get a penalty and trying to get something for his team to win.

"I'm really surprised Roberto said something like that because, in his day, he would probably have done the same."

The build-up to the west London derby was dominated by the pre-match handshake and, as expected, Anton Ferdinand rejected Terry and Ashley Cole during the ritual.

"Anton didn't deserve this, all the stuff that's gone on. He and his family have had to go through so much. I feel really bad for him," Nelson said.

"If Anton had told us not to do it (the handshake)....but that's the measure of the man.

"He just said: 'This is my personal thing. Whatever you guys do, do it.'

"In the end the Premier League forced everyone to do it, but I don't think anybody in Anton's situation would have done it."

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