Press conference

Every word of Jonas’ pre-Leicester presser

Jonas Eidevall has held his pre-Leicester City press conference ahead of Sunday's Barclays Women's Super League game at Emirates Stadium.

He was asked for the latest team news and about his thoughts on our position in the title race.

Here's what he had to say on the following subjects...

on Frida Maanum, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Laia Codina:
Yes, there’s been good progress, so I can see quite a few players returning to the squad, but we still have two more training sessions to go. I felt in the game against Bristol we had quite a depleted squad going into that game and it looks like a much more healthy and competitive situation going into the game here now against Leicester.

on if Vivianne Miedema and Lia Walti will play again this season:
Yes, I would say so. With Lia Walti, I don’t think it’s realistic that she will play more this season. Of course we have to treat all injuries week by week but when we look at the prognosis it’s still a very good prognosis on the injury. She will definitely recover from it, it’s more of the timeline. Viv has been progressing really well lately and I think she’s not far off from being able to return to the squad.

on if Lina Hurtig will play again this season:
No, I don’t see there is a chance of Lina playing more this season given how long she’s been away. She’s still away due to personal reasons and we have to respect that and support in the best way possible.

on if anything has changed in Leicester’s approach since Willie Kirk’s departure:
Of course I’ve thought similar things to see how it changes with a managerial shift, but I think to a lot of principles they stayed true. Always details change with a new manager but the overall picture remains the same, which I think makes a lot of sense because they’ve made a lot of recruitment based on fitting into the previous manager’s game plan, so they’re obviously a good fit for playing football that way, so a lot of similarities still between Leicester pre and post-Willie Kirk.

on if Viv will play again this season and her contract situation:
To your first question with whether she will play more this season or not, like I said I think she’s progressing well. I don’t see she’s far off from making a match day squad, which obviously helps a lot from the probability in order to play minutes for us, so that’s looking positive. Viv, together with others with expiring contracts, there is obviously work behind closed doors and when we have something to communicate about that we will do, both in regards to her but also in regards to the other players.

on the ticket sales for Sunday’s game:
I think it’s a really good sign of how strong the support is for the team in getting ticket sales like this. I think sometimes we have to zoom out and did we think that this was realistic two and a half years ago? I don’t think we really thought that so it shows how big the growth has been and what amazing work both the team and the club has been doing in order to bring it to this point together with the supporters. Being able to sell more than 40,000 tickets for this game here I think is a big achievement, but hopefully we can sell more. There is still time and every single one of Arsenal’s supporters that wants to make the game will make a difference for us, so hopefully there will be plenty more people.

on Jutta Rantala’s goalscoring form for Leicester:
I think Leicester has a really high quality squad. I think they recruited very strongly and their whole forward trio with Deanne Rose, [Lena] Petermann and Rantala are all very, very good players, but also seeing both [Saori] Takarada and [Yuka] Momiki that they signed from Linköping in midfield are some very highly qualitative international players, so it’s not as easy with any top team when you’re playing them that you can only focus on one or two players. If I’m surprised with Rantala, no I’m not. I’ve seen her playing in Sweden for many years and I know she has a lot of quality on her finishing. She’s always been a very dangerous offensive player and it’s nice to see that she’s been able to do that transition so good from the Swedish league to here in the WSL and really making her mark in the league as well.

on what the reaction will be for Frida at Emirates Stadium:
I haven’t really thought about it that way but, as I said before, we have two more training sessions now before and as I’ve said previously on Frida, she’s on a gradually monitored return to play protocol and everything is going fine at the moment, but we need to keep and stick to that protocol and that process. Then of course we hope that she can be available for selection on Sunday.

on if he wants Viv to stay at the club:
Like I said before with regards to Viv and all other players with expiring contracts, we’re going to keep all those things internal until we have something concrete to communicate about their situations to avoid any kind of speculation.

on Alessia Russo and Stina Blackstenius playing together:
I thought they were playing well together as well as the whole team was playing well together against Bristol. We know that’s a partnership that gives us some really good advantages. We have other partnerships in the nine-ten position that will give us other things and that’s a good thing that this squad has; that we can choose sometimes depending on the opponent what fits the best, but in the game against Bristol if we speak about that, we could really see how much I think Stina maybe did a lot of work in the quiet so to speak, but you see almost all goalscoring opportunities that we created were from Stina creating space in front of the backline with her running and positioning. That’s just such an important part sometimes in football, especially when you’re playing against a low block and I think that worked very, very well, not only for Alessia but also for the wide forwards and having Stina to create a lot of space in front of the backline for them that they could exploit in second phases and so on.

on having a chance to catch up with the WSL leaders this weekend:
I think it’s about the mentality to always do your best, to never give up. That’s one thing. My assistant coach Aaron, who’s from Australia, he showed me the video of the Australian short skater in the Winter Olympics that was last in the final and then everybody slips and he’s going first over the line. The thing is, are you ready? If someone else slips, are you ready or have you already given up because you didn’t think that was going to happen? I think it’s a mindset thing and that’s why it’s so important to always do your best. You can’t really control what other teams do and there are a lot of external factors that you can’t control either, but what you can control is your own actions and in business they call that to have return on luck to make sure that you position yourself so that if you get in that moment, will your return be a lot? That’s what I think we need to work with. Secondly, I think, for all that we’re trying to build, this is also really important in being the first chapter of the new season also, so when we speak about being consistent, when we speak about being the team that we want to be, this is an excellent opportunity for us in all the games that we have left to both work and to showcase that, so for me we have so much motivation here in the last games of the season.

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