Arteta on... Sheffield United, confidence, Auba

Mikel Arteta was back in front of the media on Friday as he looked ahead to Sunday's Premier League clash with Sheffield United.

Our manager discussed getting a reaction from the team at Bramall Lane, confidence levels and the impact of substitutes.

Read on for a full transcript:

on the reaction he wants to see from the team...
I wanted to see a reaction yesterday, and I definitely saw that. I think we merited much more than the result we got, but in the end it is what it is. We have to show even more determination because we know that we need to go to Prague and score goals and win the game, so it is not a hard mindset, it is very clear what we have to do and that's what we will do.

on the returns of Saka and Smith Rowe...
I think they were both really good, obviously they haven't played much football in recent weeks and they struggled to finish the game, but I think overall they both had a good game.

on what he expects from Sheffield United...
What they do every week. A team that has a big commitment, a team that fights in every single game which is not easy for the opponent, and we will face a difficult game again. We have no time to recover or prepare for the game, so we know what we are going to be facing. 

on Nicolas Pepe's impact...
He has been really effective when he has come on as a sub, and we started as well against Liverpool and now he needs to be at that consistent level. We know that he is a threat, he has more goals than any other winger that we have and that's a big plus for us. 

on what a successful season would be...
To win the next game against Sheffield United. That is the only focus that we  have. It is nine points [to fifth-placed Chelsea], eight games is a lot to play for and mathematically everything is possible but we have to put a run together.

on whether we need to think of subs differently, like 'finishers' in rugby...
Well certainly when you have five substitutes to make it is a different game and in rugby obviously the roles are different and when to use them than in football. But it is true that we can find some similarities and there are players in certain games after certain minutes who can have a huge impact depending on the result and what you need to change the game.

on how quickly confidence levels can drain from a team...
I've been a player and confidence is probably the biggest thing that any player needs when they step on that field, so he is not hesitant to make decisions, he knows exactly what to do and he can execute that because he knows things are going to go well for him. The surroundings of the individual are really important as well, what the collective is transmitting and bringing to the individual, that is why it is a collective sport. But the confidence you can sense it and it is key for any successful team.

on what he can do as manager to inject confidence into a player or the team...
It is the way we talk to them, the way we train them, the way we transmit the messages we want to them. But every individual is different, how he approaches positive or negative criticism, what happens when he gives the ball away and they make an error, what is the reaction? That is down to the individual and we need to understand what the individual needs in these moments. 

on why we're failing to convert chances...
It's clear why but it's how to avoid it while it's happening, or preventing it from happening. That's a different story. In a large amount of games we haven't managed to do that for different reasons. Last night was a clear example. As you mentioned in the Europa League, you're not going to create 15 clear chances. We created four or five really big chances and we have to put them in the net. Then you have some margin for things to happen in the 94th minute where you can concede a set-piece. It can happen. But what cannot happen is the way we managed the last four or five minutes.
on focusing on keeping clean sheets...
Last night's game was crucial for us to not concede and we gave away a set-piece at the end of the match. It's not the amount of chances we are conceding at all, it's the way we are conceding the goals that is pretty clear. It's the biggest part that we have to improve on defensively.
on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's reaction to coming off the bench...
We talked before the Europa League and said that everybody has contributed in different ways. The whole squad has been involved and yesterday's role for him was to sit on the bench and make an impact. He had that impact because he assisted Nico, and he should have also scored a tap-in with his left foot. That's what players have to do when they come in.
on critics saying Auba is another Ozil contract situation...
I am always positive about the future, I don't want to think about things that happened in the past, or want to compare different situations and different personalities. I wouldn't get dragged down by that.
on Auba being committed...
on whether Sheffield United are now just playing for pride...
The way I see them every game, the way they compete every game, is to win football matches. I don't see any difference in Sheffield United from a few weeks ago under Chris. We know we're going to go there and face a tough opponent, we don't have any time to prepare for the match but we'll go there to win it. 

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