Press conference

Every word from Mikel's pre-Bayern Munich presser

As soon as he touched down in Munich, Mikel Arteta was whisked off to the Fussball Arena Munchen to undergo his pre-match press conference.

Here is everything he had to say:

on what he wants to see from our players on Wednesday:
A performance that puts us in the Champions League semi-final. All the preparation have been to achieve that, and earn it. We have been ready for 10 months and everything we did last season to start that journey in the Champions League after so many years, and tomorrow we have an unbelievable opportunity to make it happen.

on the mood in the dressing room:
We’ve thrown the game away and the one we played a few days ago because regardless of that result it’ll have no impact on what’s going to happen tomorrow. We’ll refocus and start to build the confidence, trust and understanding for the performance that we have to put in tomorrow to beat them and be through in the tie.

on whether he’ll instruct his players to take the emotion out of the occasion:
Emotion is needed in football, it’s about tweaking it and touching the right buttons at the right time for the team to always be stable, and be hyped when it has to be hyped. I think we did that really well in London because after scoring the first goal in the game, we had a big chance to score the second one, and then in 5-10 minutes they are ahead and were in control. We were mature not to throw everything away in that moment, found our rhythm and our moment to score a really good goal, and the reaction of the team was straight away to score the third one.

on how he alleviates the pressure from his players:
Most of our players haven’t experienced a night like this and it’ll be their first one. They’ll be super motivated, they are prepared and confident and it’s something that tomorrow we have to show against an opponent that has experience, but we’ve got to make it happen.

on how we can look to improve our recent record in Munich:
We have to change it and the opportunity comes there – it’s a lot of things that we can do to write that story very differently tomorrow. It’s going to be about putting in a very, very strong performance, collectively and individually to earn the right to be in the semi-final.

on what sort of performance we will see tomorrow:
Depending as well on their approach – for sure, I want my team to be ourselves, regardless of the stadium. Sometimes you want to do certain things and the opponent doesn’t allow you to do it, and we’re going to be very clear how we’re going to play the game, how we want to play the game, and what is going to give us the best chance to win it.

on if he’s spoken to Xabi Alonso ahead of the game for advice:
First of all, big congratulations to Xabi and Granit, because it was a big day for him as well, so I’m happy for them and very impressed with what they’ve done. Yes, I congratulated him because we are good friends and because I’m really happy for him, but that’s a different story. We don’t face this competition regularly, and it’s a Champions League tie, so the game is very different.

on Oleksandr Zinchenko's recent performances:
We love Alex, he’s given us so much, he’s given us a lot and he’s up there with different qualities. He has an unbelievable courage to play football given the circumstances, and as well as the demands. Stay with our players and support them because, for sure, they’re going to perform better.

on helping the players to block the outside noise:
I can’t control that. I can’t check their phones and put their TVs away and the people around them. We didn’t lose anything last year because we didn’t win anything. First of all, you have to win it and then maybe you can lose it. What we had is an unbelievable journey against the best team in the world here and in Europe in the last seven years. This is where we want to be and we are not satisfied. We want to be better and that is the level that we are competing, so we will try again our best until the last day trying to win those cups and to be successful. 

on getting key positions right from the start:
Every game we will try to make the best possible decision regarding the moments that the players are in, the opponent and the scenario. We will consider it in every fight and it’s not only how to start the game but as well how the game can develop in relation to the game state and that’s what we planned. 

on Zinchenko's future:
The decision is to be focused on the Champions League quarter-finals tomorrow. 

on Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard's fitness:
Hopefully. We’ve had less than 48 hours to recover from the game and we’ve had very little training, so we will assess them tomorrow and see how they are. 

on Odegaard being man-marked and how we can find a solution:
There’s a lot of teams that do that. When we played a few days ago against Aston Villa their holding midfielder had very similar behaviours. It’s normal and it can free up other spaces and players, and I think they are very much understanding that certain situations open up others.

on how transformative a win would be tomorrow night:
Absolutely [it will make a statement], it will be unbelievable. If we make it happen tomorrow, we are in the semi-final, and we will be in a really highly emotional state - it's something that we haven't achieved as a club for the last 15-17 years and that's the opportunity. 

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