Press conference

Emery on climbing above Tottenham and United


Unai Emery got it right once again on Monday night after picking the right team and tactics to see off Newcastle United.

Our head coach has now racked up 10 straight home wins in the Premier League and he gave the media his take shortly after the final whistle.

Here’s a full transcript from Unai’s press conference:

on the game...
Good evening. Thanks. A big challenge today was to win again and to win a lot of matches consecutively is not easy. But we are feeling a good atmosphere here with our supporters and also we are playing consistently. Each match is giving us a lot of information for the system and for the players, but we can change the system and the players. Today we showed we can also take a good performance. We are going to need, for the next matches, every player. An example for me today is when we needed Mkhitaryan to play 10 minutes - his impact was good. Mo Elneny and Aubameyang, their impact after starting in the bench. This is like we want to create the team, with good feeling, good team spirit and after, confidence with the victory. Our target is very clear. It's going to be very difficult but step by step we’ve started to rise up the table after the first two matches in the Premier League when we lost against Manchester City and Chelsea. We are improving and now we are third. But we know it is going to be difficult for us because our opposition is big opposition and it is going to be very tough for us.

on the size of the achievement to be third at this stage...
But now I know it is going to be very difficult. I am not thinking about that. It's our target, we know. But my first target is to create a big atmosphere here with our supporters - and I think we are creating that little by little. To create a very big mentality with the players and the supporters. I think we are showing that. We were playing some matches, not being consistent, conceding a lot of chances to the opposition but I think in the last matches here for example, we are winning and not receiving a lot of goals. It's one big step for our way and after the consequences are on the top. But the next game against Everton on Sunday is going to be a big challenge for us because it's a new match, and it's away. We need to convince people that we can be consistent away. On Sunday or the next matches it’s going to be difficult so we need to be consistent. We need to take the same performance like we had here.

on being 10 points behind Tottenham five weeks ago...
We were playing some key matches, against Manchester United, against Tottenham, against Chelsea. And we had these opportunities and we won. We drew against Tottenham, but we were being consistent in winning more matches to be closer to them. Now is the consequence. Today, being consistent and also taking a big performance. But with big spirit, I think we did that. Today, for me, is an important victory and it's important to take this confidence and this position on the table. But I know Sunday is a big challenge and a very good challenge because each match is so hard in the Premier League.

on being in front of Tottenham...
Our demands are very big demands, individually and collectively, and I want to be in the difficult moments, to be together and in the good moments. Football can change during the next matches and that can change. We need to be strong, first with a good mentality together and with each other helping us. After is to be calm because we know that now we are in front, for the third position, but we are going to play a lot of matches and also the opposition is going to demand us to get a lot of points because they are going to do that.

on the injuries before the game...
We started Friday with not good news with Xhaka, because he has a small injury and he could not play today. After also, Aubameyang, he has had a temperature for two days and was doubtful to play today. But also, he is coming for us to start in the bench and after he was good and he felt good in his 30 minutes. Today he was coming with us in the group, Koscielny, but with some pain and he said to us he is not ready to play the match. But then, a good response from other players because we have players with good work who decided to play for us. I think we are going to play a lot of matches. Next Sunday and Napoli are two very hard matches and we need some players to give them some chances, some different minutes with some different systems and some different tactical ideas in each match. We will need everybody.

on Ramsey and why he is leaving...
I think it's clear. It's not more for me to speak about that. The most important thing is he is happy and he is working to help us. He is giving us performances to be strong in each match and I am happy with him. I want to continue with the same spirit, individually and collectively with all the players. I only can say to Aaron: continue and continue helping us because we need for this season to do something important. He can be the protagonist to do that.

on Aaron's injury...
It's only cramp. I don’t think it’s more and I hope he will be ready for Sunday.

on replacing Ramsey...
But for me, the focus is now. Now, Sunday, Napoli and to create our way, create our moments. I don't like to speak a lot about the future because the future for me is the next match. The club is working to continue doing its work, thinking to improve as a team, as a club. I think we are doing that. After, the moment is with the players that are here and I want to give them my focus and the same, their focus is only for our competition in the Premier League and the Europa League.

If we're the favourites now...
When we were the last in the table, I was positive. It was difficult. Now, I was the same positive. It's easier than when we were last in the table, but the opposition is going to demand us to get a lot of points at the end of the season and I am only going to think of the next match. Our challenge is away because we are going to play five matches away in the last seven matches. Our challenge is to be as consistent away as we are at home.

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