Press conference

Every word from Mikel's post-Man Utd presser

Mikel Arteta said he ‘hates to lose’ after Manchester United ran out 2-0 winners in a sold out MetLife Stadium on Saturday.

The boss faced the media straight after the pre-season friendly, and spoke about the result, the lessons he learned, how his midfield trio performed and Jurrien Timber’s performance.

Here’s a transcript of the press conference:

on the game: 
Having a tough match of this level in this context gives you a lot of information, and that's always very positive. That information is obviously there are a lot of things we have to improve. How important the boxes are, that errors are part of football, you have to overcome them as well. And how painful it is to lose a game. Physically it’s been super, super demanding.

Some players we want to expose a little bit more than they have done, because the way we want to build them, their physical state. Overall they had their moments when they were so efficient. We had ours, when we had more dominance and we certainly tried again in the second half, but the chances we had, we didn’t convert them, and they won the game.

on United’s physical approach:
They are here to compete and to win, as we are, and that’s the job of the referee to stop it.

on whether it was a good lesson for this team:
Yes, you asked me yesterday about my thoughts on how difficult or easy the season is going to be. It’s going to be more challenging, more difficult, the level and preparation of the team is excellent and we knew today, they had already played two games before this one and we knew the test was going to be really demanding, like it’s going to be on Wednesday against one of the best teams in the world.

on Jurrien Timber’s performance and whether he’s had any crazy press conferences:
The first one with Jurrien, we are really pleased with his performance and the things we asked him to do. Obviously he is adapting really quickly to the team, and you could see the confidence, the determination that he plays with. On the second one, they are probably very boring press conferences that I can produce.

on the midfield trio of Havertz, Rice and Odegaard:
When they play 55 times together they will be better. It will flow better, they will understand each other better and will be more dominant and better. But it takes time to glide and we have to respect that. But I saw a lot of positive things, and things I like much more than the game we won the other day against the MLS even though the result is very different.

on what he learnt from the game:
That I hate to lose and we all hate to lose. That is the biggest lesson, that I don’t like losing and I don’t like the feeling that I have right now. So the boys have to train right now, in that space thinking how we are going to be better to win the next match.

on Balogun’s and Nketiah’s futures:
We had some options up front as well and we wanted to load some players, that’s why some players today didn’t have any exposure, but they will in the next game.

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