Press conference

Every word from Jonas' pre-Conti Cup final presser

For the second consecutive season, Jonas Eidevall will take our women's teams into a Conti Cup final against Chelsea, and he discussed the game in his pre-match press conference.

The boss tackled questions about going up against Emma Hayes one last time, tactical points from our win last week against Aston Villa, and the mood in the camp ahead of the game at Molineux.

Here is everything he had to say:

on team news:
Not any real updates on that. We have two more training sessions to go, so a lot of good players in contention to play.

on the mood around the place and bouncing back after defeat to Chelsea:
If we look here at the training centre, it's a big weekend for the club. It's a focused feeling, we look forward to it and was it important for the results last week? Of course, it was even more important with the performance and coming back to a lot of the things and standards that we value so highly in the way that we play, but we need to continue to build. It's going to be a tough challenge on Sunday and we need to be on our very best behaviour.

on if there is any impact psychologically having beaten Chelsea in the final last season:
I don't think there is any mental obstacle for us saying that we couldn't beat Chelsea because we've done so on numerous occasions, but there also shouldn't be any complacency going in. We're playing against a very good team and they've beaten us on numerous occasions, so it’s really about coming down to the best team on the day. Preparation plays a huge part in that and that's what we're focusing on.

on if we can still end the season on a high:
I think it's so important to take things game by game. Now we have the cup final and who knows, maybe another team runs into what we did against West Ham away and you have two stonewall penalties and you don't get them for you in that game and then that might change. It's a 22-game league, so the margins are going to be so close, but we can only control what we can control and that is taking one game at a time and making the very best out of it.

on Sarina Wiegman’s comments on our post-season game in Australia:
It’s her comments. I focus on Arsenal and I focus on the cup final here now on Sunday, so that's all I have to say about it. I have very good communication with Serena. It's not an issue at all. We have very good communication, collaborating with her with the players that we're both working with, so no problem at all.

on Steph Houghton announcing her retirement at the end of the season:
I was fortunate enough to work together with Steph last summer when we were doing the World Cup coverage. I think she has had a phenomenal football career, both at club and at national team level. She’s a phenomenal person both on and off the pitch with some tremendous leadership qualities and I hope she can feel very proud of her career. I wish her and the family the very best from now going on for the future.

on what motivation he’ll use ahead of the game:
We've been very focused on our processes and how we need to play and train in order to get there. Then, closer to the game we might have some motivational part coming.

on whether we learnt more about playing against a low block against Villa:
I think if you look back at all our games this season, you can see a clear shift in the way that we have been able to play against low block from after the new year until this point. Our second half against Aston Villa was probably our best 45 minutes against the low block but I think you can see you have seen trends in the home games against Everton and Tottenham, so there have been trends but not as consistently dominant as we were in those 45 minutes against Villa, so that is very pleasing to me. 

The first half is not as bad - when you don't get a result it's very hard to get an unbiased view of how the game actually is. You tend to jump to conclusions; all your narrative becomes around the result and you try to justify that narrative in any way possible, just squeak it in with a shoehorn if possible. That wasn't the case but I think we can agree that the second half was better than the first half.. There were changes that were necessary to be made but the second half performance I was really pleased with. A really good step in the right direction for us against low blocks.

on the role our supporters will play on Sunday:
The fans are very important for creating the atmosphere and belief on the stage, and our fans have been so great in doing so. When we speak about motivation for the players, to win for our fans, for all the hours that they put in travelling and supporting our team, it's for them we need to play, it’s for them we need to win. What they're doing for us, it's so special. If there is something that needs that extra push for that, it's our supporters. We want to do everything to reward and repay them for the faith that they're putting into us and Sunday is a great opportunity for us to do that, so we're going to do our very best.

on the mood ahead of a big weekend for our men's and women’s teams:
I think it's a really clear sign of how far the club has come on its journey, playing finals, playing top games in the league, and sowing really good foundations. I feel that we're here on sustainable foundations, being able to repeat that time and time again so I think there is a real positive feeling. I think we're courageous, we're brave and we're going after it. 

on the one-club mentality being exemplified this week:
Once again, if I take the supporters’ perspective onto it, you see the travelling supporters for both games on an Easter Sunday and tell me that we don’t have one of the most committed fan groups around in the country. I think it’s incredible and really shows how big the support is for both teams.

on if we can learn more from our win or defeat against Chelsea:
Both. You learn different things from it. It’s a great question but me answering that would reveal far too much about how we’re going to approach the game on Sunday!

on facing Emma Hayes’ Chelsea for the last time:
I really enjoyed the challenge of those games. I think what Emma has done with Chelsea has obviously been very very good for them. You can see that of course, they’ve been the number one winners in this period, and they’re also the number one spenders and that tends to have a correlation in football. You also see that in the transfer window, now that they have run into injuries, I think they might have spent more in this transfer window here than we have for the last five transfer windows on player acquisitions. It just shows the level of investment that they have been able to do to be so successful and I think that’s of course been a big part of that as well.

on Chelsea’s level of investment:
It’s two totally different, clubs, ideas and philosophies on how you want to be successful. That is very different and it’s not about one copying the others. You have to do your own thing, but for the league, I think what Chelsea are doing is very good because I think the biggest difference between the men’s and women’s games if you compare them from a European perspective is that the best salaries are not paid in England in the women’s game, they’re paid elsewhere and that’s what you’re seeing in the Champions League. That’s why English clubs have a very hard time. We need the Champions League also because the level of investment that other European clubs have is so high and of course, if Chelsea want to go there they need to be able to match that. If we want to go there, we also need to compete on that so I think it’s good with clubs investing because it sort of brings all of us up to another level.

on Willie Kirk being sacked by Leicester City:
None of my attention goes towards that so I haven’t really thought about it that way. As I said before, I don’t know any details about that case either so I can’t comment on that.

on the young players we could take to Australia in the summer:
The post-season trip can be a good opportunity for us to see some players that we don’t see as often in our environment and get a really good understanding of what their current level of performances are, so that's one of the reasons.

on if he will miss the competitiveness with Emma Hayes:
I've really enjoyed the games from a challenge perspective. I think that that has been really exciting to play against our teams, but rivalries in elite football, they will continue to come and when one ends, another one emerges. I don't think there will be any shortage of rivalries in the WSL.

on if this game is more important for us than Chelsea:
I would always say everything is more important for us. Of course, the most important thing for us is that we win. So, from my point of view, Arsenal is always the most important thing and Arsenal winning is the most important thing, so I totally agree, it's the most important thing. 

on if he bumps into Emma Hayes often:
It's not really how the WSL works that you just bump into each other at various things. London is also quite big. One thing that is a big difference between the UK and Sweden is the amount of contact that you have with your fellow managers. In Sweden, you tend to do a lot of trips together when there are international competitions or you meet up in an international week, and you exchange experiences, talk about the game all those things that we actually need to develop together. What I really like about that in Sweden is that you understand that while you are rivals, you actually have a lot more things in common than you have against each other and you can learn a lot from each other. I think those relationships are important, and we don't have any really good platform in the WSL for building them. 

That being said, I really look forward to the time when Emma and I are not on opposing sides, and we can co-operate with a player like Emily Fox, and we want the best for her. I think it will be really interesting to have football discussions with her and get her perspective on things - why they have done certain things and what they've learned in Europe, and so on. Because, in essence, what they’re trying to achieve and have achieved, are a lot of the same things that we are trying or have achieved here at Arsenal. So there are a lot of lessons to be learned.  

on if managers meet for a drink after the game:
Only Matt Beard, the Liverpool manager, he's very good on that. He's a real connecting force, Matt, but not with anyone else. 

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