Press conference

Every word from Emery’s press conference

Unai Emery during the Europa League match away against Qarabag
Unai Emery during the Europa League match away against Qarabag

Unai Emery was in good spirits when he spoke to the media after Thursday night’s 3-0 win over Qarabag.

We extended our winning run to eight matches in all competitions, with a host of players impressing in Baku.

Here’s a full transcript of what Emery said in his press conference: 

on a comprehensive scoreline but a testing fixture…
Good evening. Yes, each match for us is not easy. Firstly, because when we are playing away, we are playing against a good team like Qarabag today. Good players also and with a very great ambition and excited to play against us. Their mobility, their quality in above all the first half, I think we suffered in the match. But I want to suffer. I want to not find easy matches, like today. Then, in our moments, to show you and show them our possibilities, our quality and our organised moments. I think in the 90 minutes today, the team worked very well.

on what he said to Emile Smith Rowe when he came off and how far can Emile go…
Well, first I think that every player needs to feel that we have the option to give them chances an an opportunity to play with us. Above all, the players with us, they are coming from the academy and today they are here. Deyan Illiev is here also, Eddie Nketiah is here also, and also is Joe Willock. We want to give them [opportunities] but also they earned their moments in the pitch because, in pre-season for example, Emile Smith Rowe worked very well with us. He knows how we want to play and he is very humble to continue improving and progressing with us and in every training and match, like today. I said to him, after he left the match, that before he had one action and with ambition, he can go inside the box and score more.

on what qualities in Emile stand out for him to make him want to pick him…
A little bit of all the qualities he has: physical, mentality and quality with his right foot. Working in combinations with other players. If I can say one condition, for me, it’s his mentality. He is humble and he is humble to listen every day in training, in the video analysis and also before the match to continue improving and to keep taking one step more, like today. The last matches he played, for example against Brentford, he had three actions in the opposition boxes and didn’t score. But today, he had two and one was a goal. I think this is one step more for him. I prefer to not speak a lot about him, because I think it’s best for him to continue to be humble and continue working in every match to keep his feet on the ground.

on how he views Qarabag…
When I saw different matches, in their domestic competition and in Europe against Sheriff and Sporting Lisbon, for us their best performance was against Sporting Lisbon with a good match. Our respect is more thinking here, for example Atletico Madrid didn’t win. They played very well in the Champions League. That’s the reason, today also, we analysed and worked with the respect against them. On the pitch we were thinking that we need also to take the best performance to win today.

on Alex Iwobi’s performance and whether he will start in the Premier League - plus updates on Aubameyang and Ramsey’s availability for Sunday’s match…
No, first I changed Monreal because we wanted to play with a back four in the second half. Also, we needed to put one midfielder more on the pitch. Secondly, Aubameyang and Aaron are in London and we will look tomorrow and Saturday to see how they are for Sunday to see if they can play. For us, each match is very important to show us and for them to take responsibility, take confidence and take rhythm. Each match is one exam for them. I am very happy with how they are responding on the pitch. Alex Iwobi is another player who is the same. When we arrive on the match at Sunday against Fulham, it’s also very important that we decide the best first eleven and the players on the bench for continuing together in this way, away at a very good and difficult team like Fulham.

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