on the game...
"We gave absolutely everything until the last second. It was a very physical game where we had early chances but we didn't take them. They tried to lift the ball, to fight for every ball, and they did it very well. They took advantage of our first mistake at the back and after that it was difficult for us to come back. We gave everything and they did as well."

on the conditions at Bramall Lane...
"I felt that the pitch was very tricky to play the kind of game we like and it worked to their advantage. It was a real cup game today, the weather made it a typical, old-fashioned cup game."

on 'physical' matches ...
"It is difficult to accept losing a game like that because you come out of the game thinking they didn't create a lot. But it is part of the English game, you get that once or twice and year where it is a typical cup game. One or two challenges were difficult to take, especially on Van Persie, but we could have won the game despite that. I feel for a long time there is a misunderstanding between me and the press about what is 'physical'. I have nothing against physical games but there are things I saw today which have nothing to do with that."

on failing to test stand-in keeper Jagielka...
"I feel we dropped physically a lot in the second half because we have played plenty of games in December. We were less efficient because we dropped physically and couldn't take advantage [when Phil Jagielka went in goal]."

on slipping further behind the leaders...
"Well of course it is difficult to deal with the consequences of the defeat today. I agree it is a long distance now [to Manchester United] but the defeat is tough enough to take, we will deal with the consequences later. It does make it a big distance. It is never over, we will fight until the last second of the season."

on Jeremie Aliadiere and Julio Baptista...
"It's difficult when you come in for one game to adjust to the pace of the game. They have both showed signs of quality but I wouldn't make them responsible for our lack of efficiency up front. Both have shown encouraging signs but they need a longer run in the game."

on another hat-trick for Anthony Stokes...
"It doesn't surprise me. His loan finishes now but he must play one complete season. He is only 18, very young, and at our level there is big competition. If he comes back and doesn't play it is better to stay away for a whole season, play games and get more competition."

on the nine injured players...
"I don't know who will be back but that shouldn't be an excuse for our defeat. We had 11 good players on the pitch and they did fight very hard. I give them a lot of credit for their spirit today but we lacked a little bit of imagination and finishing."

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 31 Dec 2006