Press conference

Emery’s press conference: every single word

Unai Emery believes our Europa League tie against Napoli is perfectly poised - and rates our chances of going through as “50:50”.

Our head coach was joined by Sokratis for a busy press conference at the Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday, and you can read a full transcript here:

on whether he fears Ancelotti or the San Paolo most…
Good evening. It’s one football match and I think we are two teams with players with experience. We have a big history and also they have a very good coach. We played the first leg at home and the second here at the Sao Paolo. We know it’s going to be a different match. We are waiting for them and [expecting] their best performance. The best capacity here will come with their supporters, the stadium, the atmosphere, the skills and their capacity tactically. We are ready for tomorrow.

on Napoli…
All the individuals. [They will test us] tactically and with this atmosphere here they are going to play with courage. They are ready to play with their head and intelligence. They have players with this capacity, but our players have a lot of experience and we know 90 minutes here can be long. We want to play this match not thinking about the first leg. We want to play thinking about winning, scoring, stopping them and being together tactically. We want to attack the space and respect the tactical structure, as well as individual work of Napoli. Insigne, Zielinski, Mertens… there are lots of players with a big quality to push against us and give us problems. We have players with the capacity to fight against them with quality and also to be together to be solid.

on having Sokratis back in the squad…
I have the confidence in every player. In this moment, every player wants to play, wants to help us, the behaviour is very good every day, the commitment to work and to be ready is fantastic. All the players that we have ready to play, like Papa because he was suspended in the Premier League, their commitment is fantastic.

on whether Sokratis has got better…
I think the adaptation first is important and not easy. It’s different for different players. We spoke about that with Papa in pre-season. His adaptation was with the time and the training, the matches are different in England. He took the big performances to help us like he is now. We are very happy with him and tomorrow is a big match so we need players with experience. He’s one of those players.

on going on the attack…
Our mentality is to think about preparing the match, starting the game by attacking when we have the ball and have the space to run. We want to defend as well. Our first target is to win. When you score when playing matches like tomorrow’s match, you can create a good advantage. We know it’s going to be very difficult because they can score two or more goals with their attacking players. Our mentality tomorrow is to play the match thinking to win.

on chances of going through…
Fifty-fifty, it’s not changed for me. We played the first leg at home and we won. But if you did one question about the first leg when at home, we won. That’s a normal result. But when you play here against Napoli and think they can beat you, it’s a possibility because they are very strong at home. We are 50:50. It’s not changed, but our mentality and target is to play to win tomorrow.

on Napoli…
They are a great club with a great president and a great coach here. Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner. They have great players. Their history is great history and their present gives them great opportunities and optimism to win things. They’re second in [Serie A] and they will play against us in this round of the Europa League.