From the Boardroom - David Sullivan

Joint-Chairman David Sullivan
This was always going to be a testing time for the Club with the run of hard games we were facing, but there is no doubt that the team is playing a lot better.

Nobody is enjoying looking at the table at the moment but I hope we have now turned a corner.

We got off to a perfect start against Manchester United on Sunday and it was unfortunate that we could not hold onto the lead.

But I thought the players showed great determination and a fighting spirit to help us come away with a point.

It was a real team effort starting with Darren Randolph who once again showed his quality and produced an outstanding display.

Darren has had to be patient but he has never moaned about the situation and showed his quality during the summer playing for the Republic of Ireland at the European Championship Finals.

I was impressed by the effort from the whole team on Sunday but I thought Darren was the star performer.

There were a number of positives to take from the performance and it was very pleasing to see Diafra Sakho back in action.

He showed his quality once again when he opened the scoring after just two minutes and it was really unfortunate that he picked up a hamstring injury during the second half.

Diafra will now undergo a scan and although the early signs suggest it will not be a lengthy injury, we will know a lot more when we see the results in the next few days.

It has certainly been a frustrating time with injuries to key players, but with our club record signing Andre Ayew back in action and Andy Carroll not far away from making a first-team return, the signs are looking a lot more encouraging.

Ashley Fletcher also showed his quality when he came on as a substitute and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet late in the game.

We identified Ashley as a big player for the future when we signed him during the summer, but he impressed in the opening part of the season and remains a key part of the squad.

We now switch our attentions to another the EFL Cup on Wednesday night when we face Manchester United once again in the quarter-final and I am very optimistic going into the tie.

We are just three games away from playing at Wembley and I know our fans would love another day out at Wembley.

This is another important week for the Club and a victory on Wednesday would set us up nicely for another big game against Arsenal on Saturday.