Press conference

Emery's press conference: Every last word

Unai Emery was understandably in reflective mood after our draw with Sporting CP on Thursday night as he discussed the game and Danny Welbeck's injury.

Read on for a full transcript of our head coach's post-match press conference:

on Welbeck’s injury casting a shadow…
It’s the worst news tonight, this injury. It’s clear that we are with him in these minutes. He was working well and he was having a good match. He had some chances too. His injury was with the mentality of the players. They [saw] it was a big injury. When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don’t want it to happen but this is our profession.

on Welbeck going to hospital…
Yes, now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait - but we think it’s a serious injury.

on mood in dressing room at half-time…
When one player has an injury like that, every player on the pitch they look at this injury. First it’s in your mind - you think for the player. But I think the players were concentrated on the match and we forgot this injury the next minute on the pitch. But when the match finishes, the first thing they did was ask for him.

on his assessment…
Sporting are a very big competitive team, and organised. We spoke before and at half-time. Every Portuguese team is very competitive and today their commitment in the defensive moments was big. We needed to be calm and to create chances to score, but it’s not easy on the pitch to make clear chances against them. I think this is the summary of the 90 minutes. It was difficult to create big chances against them. We created but it wasn’t enough to win tonight.

on if anyone has spoken to Welbeck…
No, no.

on if it’s an ankle injury…
It’s an ankle.

on how said it is to see Welbeck injured again…
Every injury is different. This [could] be a break of something in the ankle. It’s a different injury to others.

on if Sporting deserved a draw…
I think it’s the merit of them. They are a very competitive team, organised, and they worked very well. I’m happy for us also, because very player worked well with very good commitment. But it was a difficult game. We remember the match in Lisbon, it was also difficult. We won that and now we can say those three points away were very important for us. This point today isn’t enough for us but at the moment we are on target to be first in the group. We are first at the moment and we are going to continue on our way for that.

on if he’ll rest players for the remaining two games having qualified…
Our mind is to be first in the group. Then every match we want the best performance from every player. We want to use the players that we think [are right] for each match, and think about the next one. After this match, we think about Sunday’s game against Wolverhampton here, and continue to create our ideas. This match gave us a lot of information for continuing collectively and individually. Some players need to take responsibility and confidence. I think there were a lot of positives tonight.

on Lichtsteiner’s injury…
The Lichtsteiner injury changed our idea in the match. We wanted to bring on Eddie Nketiah and give him a chance. When Lichtsteiner had this injury, we had to play with a right back. For this reason, we played Ainsley, but for us it’s good for Ainsley to play these minutes because he needs that to take the confidence and our rhythm. We changed our idea tactically for the last 25 minutes [due to] the injury.

on if Welbeck’s future is here despite the injury…
He’s a very good person. His commitment with us is very big. He’s helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity. It’s a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person.

on severity of Lichtsteiner’s injury…
It’s muscular. Tomorrow we will know better.

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