Press conference

Emery’s pre-Wolves presser: Read every word


Unai Emery discussed a number of topics at his pre-Wolves press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Our head coach was asked about raising his team’s spirits following our defeat to Crystal Palace, how he sees the race for the top four and what he expects from Wolves at Molineux. Read on for his answers: 

on raising spirits after Palace…
Good afternoon. We have it in our hands. At the beginning of the season, after winter, we struggled in the table. We were [in a lower] position than we are in now. On Sunday, we know some details we lost and they used these details to score. But our way is not changing. We are on a way at the end of the season with a big possibility to take our first target. [We need to] continue being proud of our season and knowing the key moments are now. Tomorrow is also a big moment and a big match for us, a big challenge because we are playing against a team who feel strong with their supporters. But it’s a good moment to try to do all we can, with intelligence. We need to be clear, we need to play with heart but above all being clear in our minds.

on who could come back tomorrow…
We are going to wait. I am not telling you what our idea is with the players, with the system, with the injured players or the first XI.

on Granit Xhaka…
I want to keep all information to myself for tomorrow. Sorry, I think it’s better for us.

on him not usually being secretive…
Yes but maybe today. It can change sometimes. It’s because maybe I don’t want to be clear on how the players are. I prefer it. It’s not you, it’s for our opposition.

on what he can say…
Aaron Ramsey cannot play. Denis Suarez cannot play.

on the reason behind losing on Sunday…
First, we made mistakes that we usually don’t make at home. The second thing is that they used our mistakes to [punish us] and produce this performance against us. They have good players. First is for us, second is for them. We can lose and we can win, but I think the team is showing consistency and one exception like Sunday cannot give us doubts or a loss in confidence. We need to continue to be strong in our minds in this moment because we need to be strong, first with our confidence.

on if he's decided who is staying and going at Arsenal this summer...
My focus and our focus in my career and in my history for the best performance is to think about the next matches. For me, the future doesn't exist. I live in the present and it's very important in each match to show first our performance and secondly show my capacity. Also, the players show in every match with our supporters, with our test. But I'm not thinking in the future. You are creating your future with the present and you need to play each match by thinking about that. With big spirit to do all we can individually and collectively. I believe in the players, I believe in our way and I think we are now in this moment with possibilities and it's not for me [to say anything about] the future.

on Wolves struggling lately...
I don't think so. They are going to push a lot tomorrow. I worked one thing here very quickly. We are playing against all of the teams and they want to battle us, fighting and playing with a big motivation. One is the motivation in the table for each player and one is the motivation against Arsenal. Every team wants to battle us because they respect us and also because it's important to try to win against us.

on three of the last four games being away from home...
We are speaking about being consistent and competitive. Sometimes we can be competitive but less brilliant than in our gameplan and we won doing that. Sometimes you are competitive, play brilliantly and it also gives you the victory. The two last matches away, we won against Napoli and against Watford and we weren't brilliant. But we played competitively and it was enough for us to win. But we need to improve because maybe in the next match, it's not enough for us to win. We are continuing in our way of thinking to improve, with big competitiveness. Some moments in the 90 minutes we need to not be brilliant, but to be competitive. In other moments, we need to be brilliant to use our quality to win against the opposition. Tomorrow we need more. We need to be competitive and we need some moments of quality. But above all, our organisation, our capacity to keep moving ahead but being organised and being consistent.

on if he’s confident of a top-four finish…
Yes. It also depends on other teams’ results. At the beginning it’s in our hands if we win. We want to be intelligent. On Sunday, we didn’t win but maybe today we can say that one point was important on Sunday. Maybe that can happen in the next matches. We will prepare to win but we can win, draw or lose. The first situation for us is in our hands if we win, but then we’re going to play difficult matches. Chelsea v Burnley at home was a difficult match and we were thinking they were going to win, but they were playing against a very strong Burnley side, it was a very tough match and the result was a draw. We want to be intelligent and consistent in 38 matches. Sometimes, one draw can be the way.

on the defence struggling on Sunday and if that’s an area Arsenal need to get right moving forward…
The last matches we worked all, and defensively we were strong. But Sunday was a different match. First because struggled more in the set-pieces, where we were very consistent, and that was a mistake because that is unusual for us. Secondly, when we were playing with three centre backs we can feel more consistent but in the second half we needed to change because the result wasn’t good in the first half. We used two centre backs and in the second half, we were better in the match and then we made one tactical mistake. We didn’t want our defenders to go 1v1 against Zaha, because so many players lose against him because he’s a very good player. We know we did that on Sunday but we are going to continue working and improving to be defensively consistent. It’s normal, sometimes when you need to attack a lot, you can lose something offensively. But I think we are improving and Sunday was an exception to our improvement defensively. We are going to continue believing in our work and being strong defensively.

on how he would rate his season so far at Arsenal…
Not now because each match gives us a chance to take our target or not. My test personally is the same. I don’t use my personal situation to show things outside. I want to be together in our test, the team, club, me. We want to achieve our objectives by being in the Champions League through the Premier League or Europa League. The Europa League can give us one title possibility, but it will be very difficult. Our target to be in the Champions League next year is difficult. It’s my only focus.

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