On securing victory against a resolute Portsmouth…
“Obviously Portsmouth came and had a game plan. It took us a little bit of time to break them down but I have said to them in there that they will come up against that in their careers. They are always learning and getting different things out of every game.

“Portsmouth defended deep and in the end it took us time. I said to them to keep believing in the way that we play; don’t get frantic, don’t get frenetic and don’t start walloping balls in hoping for the best but play with some intelligence. In the end they worked a ball, worked an opening, scored their goal and then added a second.”

On Eduardo’s comeback...
“We think Eduardo has got a little tender spot on his hamstring, We’re not sure if it is a little bit of cramp or a bit of nervous tension that he has felt. We thought best to bring him off as a precaution.

“It was the next step and he has had a good training stint. He just felt a little bit in his hamstring and the doctor has had a look at him and it is a very mild little strain. We were taking no chances and I think he was just pleased to get back on the pitch and he’ll deal with this no problem.

“I think from his point of view it was all about getting him on the pitch and getting him used to the physical contact again. I think he has got half a game here and will come back in tomorrow and start working towards another game.”

On the difference between training and actual games…
“You can never really recreate the game tempo in training, you do try and some days you do get up there. I think with Eduardo it is 10 months out and there is some nervous tension there and I think it goes through your body and tends to make you over cautious. That can then open your body up to other little areas that can lead to little muscle injuries. “

On the two wingers drifting inside…
“We are trying to develop a game style for them so they can interchange and there are player rotations. We have got players who can play inside or out wide so we don’t mind them coming inside as long as when we lose possession we go back to a 4-4-2. “

On a solid defensive display…

“I said to the back four that it is a big test of their concentration as defenders. There were long periods of the game where they weren’t involved too much but they had to keep their concentration. Although it was 0-0 up to the 80th minute, one slip can put you 1-0 behind. To their credit I thought concentration-wise they did very well.

On the disappointing Carling Cup exit at Burnley…
“I think in the Carling Cup we all saw the chances that we didn’t take and we all got punished but it is another learning curve for them. If we had taken one of our six one-on-ones we may be in the semi final but we didn’t and we have to get on with it.”

On this season’s FA Youth Cup campaign…
“At Villa it was a great performance from the lads and a fantastic win for Steve [Bould] and the boys. Now they go onto play Wolves in the next round.

“I don’t think you want to count your chickens in this cup and it’s about taking each game as it comes. I know it is a bit of a cliché but you just need to play your next game, get through to the next round and then hopefully get to the final.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Dec 2008