Press conference

Every word from Eidevall's pre-Lyon presser

We're back in Champions League action on Thursday night as we prepare to host Lyon at Emirates Stadium. 

Jonas Eidevall's side remain unbeaten at the top of Group C this season with three wins and one draw, leaving qualification in our hands. 

Three points over the reigning European champions would guarantee our place in the knockout stage of the competition. 

Our head coach faced the media on Wednesday afternoon - and this is what he had to say: 

on having the chance to win our group so we can rest players against FC Zurich...

It’s a serious game and of course we know that we can achieve qualification and that’s huge for us. We’re going to do our very best to try and achieve that.

on whether our last outing against Lyon was one of those nights where everything went right…

It was a combination of a very good performance, but we also scored at very good times in the game so we had that combination of good times and good performance. Everything aligned that night and of course it’s beautiful to be a part of, but we can’t hold onto that forever, so it’s a new performance tomorrow and we need to be ready for that.

on whether Lyon are the gold standard in Europe…

Over the last decade for sure. They were very early pioneers in investing in the women’s game on a truly professional level. They’ve been the club that has been setting the standards for all others to chase and they are the reigning European champions, so I still think they are and we have the utmost respect for their history and their team and we know it’s going to require an incredible performance from us in order to get a result that we want.

I remember I went there with a team I coached in Sweden in 2015 and I was amazed by how professional of an organisation they were, not only with the players but also off the pitch at the time and that’s almost 10 years ago. They have a holistic way of investing in the game and it’s not only about finding the best players; they’ve also been trying to build the best organisation around it and they’ve been investing in facilities and showing that you need to be broad in the things you think about.

on Vivianne Miedema’s recent performances…

I think she’s doing very well. Like you say, it’s not only about the goals, it’s about how you connect with others in offence and defence and her workrate that she puts in for the team. She’s been very important for us in this period.

on how Lyon will in comparison to our last game…

It's difficult to predict how Lyon will look (compared to the game in October), that's their business. I will work on how Arsenal will look but we see a Lyon team that has had a lot of strong performances. From a goal-scoring opportunities perspective, they were the better team against PSG even if they ended up losing. We know it's an excellent opponent that we need to have massive respect for.

on whether Lyon will be more fired up after losing to PSG…

But that's under the impression that you would have a team playing in the Champions League not giving 100 per cent as a starting point. It's not the starting point I see things from. If you're been playing in the Champions League, it's the most prestigious and greatest tournament that you have in women's club football, so if you need more motivation to play that, then I don't know what to say. I think every team is always going to be 100% in this competition.

on Swedish legend Nilla Fischer announcing her retirement…

She is a great story for young players, she was a Champions League and national team player as a midfielder when Pia Sundhage took over the Swedish NT and made her into a central defender that I think reached the peak of her career. She captained Champions League-winning teams and captained her country there. That shows you that even as senior a player as she was, a small tweak can unlock all your potential. That's what I learned from Nilla.

on how much Steph Catley’s versatility has helped the team…

A lot. I think she has been applying herself and showing what a great team player she is throughout this period. Also, coming from a period where I think she was performing excellent at left full-back and we moved her in a position to play left central defender instead, but she always puts the team first and that's the number one priority for me when I select players in a squad, that you have that ability to put the team first. That's what's going to give you long-term success and she absolutely embodies that.

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