Press conference

Arteta on fans, fitness, Torreira, Nketiah

Mikel Arteta has his first win as our head coach, and his delight was clear when he sat down for his post-match press conference.

Read on for some of the standout quotes:

on the performance...
I am very pleased with the performance, I am even more pleased with the result, which we needed. All of the things that I demanded and wanted to see on the pitch, actually happened today.

on the fans responding well to the team...
Absolutely. I said to the players, 'it is up to you, your body language and behaviour, if you are able to transmit to them, they will buy into it. If it is negative, it is a negative [reaction from the fans], if it is positive, it is positive and they are willing to help you guys. They are here to support you.' They are fans and they want to see their team perform like they did today. Thank you so much to them because when they are right behind [the team], you can tell the confidence and the things they tried, and the energy had towards the game you could see it was much better.

on whether the team are further ahead than he thought they would be...
Absolutely. But the challenge is to maintain it.

on improving the level of fitness...
I hope so! That wasn't the plan [to sit back in the second half], I have to admit, but at the moment we are suffering a little bit to maintain the intensity we had in the first half. I think it will come, it is part of the process, the way we train, but at the moment we don't have much time to do so. But as well I really liked the resilience, and I like to see them suffer together. When they had to defend deeper... I want to see that reaction that instead of getting annoyed with each other when someone gives the ball away. It was a positive reaction and everyone was tracking back. So I am pleased with that aspect of the game as well.
 
on Lucas Torreira...
He was really good again. He wants to fight for every ball. In training he fights for every inch. He's starting to understand the whole picture much better, that's what I'm trying to do [with him]. He's been superb. In the three games he's played under me, he's been top.
 
on whether we have the ability to develop our battling qualities...
Yes. I think you have to have some of that naturally. Then you can be contagious with it. I think we have some really good role models at the football club. I think when we install a good culture and a good way of living together, more will come up. They just need a good platform, they need support, they need guidance. That's why we're here.
 
on how significant this result is for him...
At the end of the day, we're getting judged by results. That's going to give the players a massive lift in terms of confidence, that they can play against any opponent in this league and be better than them, dominate them, and compete against them. That's something that, in my opinion, for many weeks, they haven't been doing together. As well, what we are trying to create is not just words, it's actually happening and you can see that happening. That generates more belief. That's only about winning games.

on if he can compare the feeling of winning as a manager to when he was a player...
It's much more stressful as a manager! I lost my voice talking to them, but I'm very pleased. Mostly for them and as well for the fans because I am so happy that I turned around in the stadium and I saw smiley faces, I saw energy, I saw people standing and that's what I want.
 
on how difficult it was to lift the dressing room when he came in...
Well, that's why I said to them that without you guys I won't be able to do it. You have to open that door and believe that I can bring something different to the club. We need all the staff to believe as well. If we are able to do that, day by day, it will take a long time and the process is not going to be easy and there will be ups and downs, but they bought into it. That's my feeling. They want to do it. I think they are starting to enjoy it and hopefully it's a start.
 
on reports of Eddie Nketiah returning to the club...
Yes, we are having a meeting tomorrow with Raul and Edu to go through all the loans and situation. I know he is coming tomorrow, so I will speak to him and we will try to make the best decision for him.

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