Press conference

Emery press conference: read a full transcript

Unai Emery held his first press conference of a busy week on Monday - and you can read every word right here.

Our head coach was asked about reported transfer targets Ivan Perisic and Denis Suarez and the likely return dates of our injured centre backs.

Here’s what Unai said:

on missing Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis...
Good afternoon. They are not OK for tomorrow but it is good news for example for Laurent Koscielny because he didn't break his jaw. Sokratis doesn't have a big injury but he isn't OK, I don't know how long but I think maybe two or three weeks.

on a chance for Dinos Mavropanos now...
He has been working with us for the past month and playing with the under-23s and he is OK. The first half can work with him for the squad tomorrow and he is in the squad with the possibility to play.

on Ivan Perisic and whether we’ve made an approach…
It’s one thing the club is working on, the possibility with different players. I don’t know exactly which players, but it’s players with the possibility to help us who can play on the wing, right or left.

on whether Perisic wants to join the club...
I think all the players who can come here and help us is good news.

on Denis Suarez…
It’s the same. This transfer is not easy and the message is that the club is working on different players. The possibility, if it can be [done], is good for us.

on his confidence of making new signings…
I don’t know because this transfer window is not easy. I know the club is doing all they can to achieve one player to help us.

on whether he’d be disappointed if there were no signings…
No, because we were speaking about these possibilities two months ago but we know it’s not easy.

on the defensive situation and new signings…
It’s the same. I can’t say to you and example, it’s for all the situations. It’s not easy because I don’t want to come here, sign and player and it's not very clear if he can help us be better than the players we already have in the squad. It’s a difficulties and [there are] other things, but this is one example where we can only bring players that we are very convinced will be able to help us with a good performance.

on whether we have enough defensive cover…
We have enough players who can play centre back in the squad. The problem is we’re having a lot of injuries in this position. We have enough players. If we can bring another player, and all the other players we have are well to play, then we could maybe have a problem in the future.

on the game against Cardiff and the emotion…
All our thoughts are with Nantes and Cardiff and to the player and the pilot's families and friends, and tomorrow we are going to remember them. After, we are going to play one match and be remembering this situation but also giving together for one recovery for Emiliano Sala and for the pilot. Also, our thoughts are with his family and all their friends.

on how many players he hopes to sign before the end of the week…
Nil or possibly two. Between nil and two. If they aren’t coming to help us like we want, then we would prefer them to not come. Two because we are looking at two different players who have the possibility to come here.

on the confidence level in the squad…
I trust in every player, I trust in our squad. Our focus now is very clear. The Premier League is the first focus. We're going to play also in the Europa League with a big motivation because I think it's one title and also one way to the Champions League. But first, the Premier League is the first competition for us and tomorrow is a very, very important match also for us.

on whether it’s a must-win game…
We played against Chelsea with the same situation and we won. We are speaking in the dressing room every time for this importance in our way in the Premier League and in each match. If you win against Chelsea but you don't win tomorrow then you are losing three very important points. We have very big respect for Cardiff because they are a very competitive team. They won in Leicester and the played their last matches where the results were only just against them. Tomorrow, we need to impose ourselves and also show adaptation. I think they are going to play with a big motivation also and with a big fight in a lot of duels against us. We need tomorrow to be concentrated on the three points like we were against Chelsea.

on if the defence is still a problem…
Our challenge every day, every match, is to take a better balance in the attacking and defensive moments. We are scoring a lot, that’s a good statistic, but we are receiving a lot more than we want. It’s a lot of work but with patience, tomorrow I want to win and if we can score a lot it's better. If we receive one goal because we are attacking and also pushing a lot, I prefer it like that. But every match we are working, between us, we need a clean sheet and we need also this balance to be better. But the first idea in our mind is to win.

on whether issues are those he inherited in the summer…
The way is just starting. I say to the club we need to know everything, we need to take time in our way. Now I know all the players better, the team, the club. We need to be winning our way but we also need patience at times. The progression is getting better with each moment in the present and future. We work for that. I think we can improve the players here, and I think we can also improve finding out what we need for the future. Together with the club, the players, we can do this way. Our way is very demanding and the first objective is to get to the Champions League, but we know other teams are very strong now and we know we are playing against teams who have advantages over us with the time they’ve had. I trust in us and know we need to play this way with passion.

on Mesut Ozil…
I am demanding of myself and I am demanding of every player to improve. We do better in our performance. That’s first for me, then for other players like Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, Alex Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Matteo Guendouzi because I think we can improve and we are very critical of ourselves to find our best performance every day. I want Mesut’s best performance every day and when he’s playing to give us his best quality and commitment.

on players leaving…
I think there is a very small possibility of letting players leave. It’s difficult to name a player who could leave.