Press conference

Emery on Uefa moving our game to Kiev

Unai Emery says he has “all the respect” for Uefa’s decision to move our Europa League game with Vorskla Poltava to Kiev.

Thursday’s group game was switched to the capital city because of the introduction of martial law in several regions in Ukraine.

It meant a late change to our own preparations - with training originally due to take place in Poltava - but Emery and the players have adapted.

“First of all, we need to respect Uefa’s decision because it’s not easy for Vorskla,” said our head coach. “It’s not an easy decision for Uefa to make either.

“This decision is not easy but I think it’s been made with a big responsibility. Uefa found the best decision to make us able to play, and also to protect everybody. They’re protecting us and they’re protecting them. We were waiting for this decision but we knew that we had to respect it. 

“The travel changed but I think Kiev has a lot of possibility for us and also for the media and supporters. The most important change is that it affects the supporters. We need them to come here and then stay with us tomorrow. 

“It’s very cold here like it is in Poltava but we’re going to play with this weather. We prepared for the match in this context with our players and also with the respect for Vorskla. We only want to play the match, to win and to show every supporter that we can do well.

“In the 90 minutes, it’s not a very big change. It’s clear [Vorskla] are playing in Ukraine and not in their town, but here in Kiev they can also move their supporters. In the 90 minutes, we want to do our work here. We want to prepare for Poltava with the respect to them.”

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