Press conference

How does Emery rate our top four chances?


Chelsea’s draw at home to Burnley on Monday night means that there are still only three points separating third and sixth place as the Premier League reaches its final game weeks.

Unai Emery was asked about the race for the top four in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday - and here’s how he answered.

on if he’s confident of a top-four finish…
Yes. It also depends on other teams’ results. At the beginning it’s in our hands if we win. We want to be intelligent. On Sunday, we didn’t win but maybe today we can say that one point was important on Sunday. Maybe that can happen in the next matches. We will prepare to win but we can win, draw or lose. The first situation for us is in our hands if we win, but then we’re going to play difficult matches. Chelsea v Burnley at home was a difficult match and we were thinking they were going to win, but they were playing against a very strong Burnley side, it was a very tough match and the result was a draw. We want to be intelligent and consistent in 38 matches. Sometimes, one draw can be the way.

on three of the last four games being away from home...
We are speaking about being consistent and competitive. Sometimes we can be competitive but less brilliant than in our gameplan and we won doing that. Sometimes you are competitive, play brilliantly and it also gives you the victory. The two last matches away, we won against Napoli and against Watford and we weren't brilliant. But we played competitively and it was enough for us to win. But we need to improve because maybe in the next match, it's not enough for us to win. We are continuing in our way of thinking to improve, with big competitiveness. Some moments in the 90 minutes we need to not be brilliant, but to be competitive. In other moments, we need to be brilliant to use our quality to win against the opposition. Tomorrow we need more. We need to be competitive and we need some moments of quality. But above all, our organisation, our capacity to keep moving ahead but being organised and being consistent.

on the defence struggling on Sunday and if that’s an area Arsenal need to get right moving forward…
The last matches we worked all, and defensively we were strong. But Sunday was a different match. First because struggled more in the set-pieces, where we were very consistent, and that was a mistake because that is unusual for us. Secondly, when we were playing with three centre backs we can feel more consistent but in the second half we needed to change because the result wasn’t good in the first half. We used two centre backs and in the second half, we were better in the match and then we made one tactical mistake. We didn’t want our defenders to go 1v1 against Zaha, because so many players lose against him because he’s a very good player. We know we did that on Sunday but we are going to continue working and improving to be defensively consistent. It’s normal, sometimes when you need to attack a lot, you can lose something offensively. But I think we are improving and Sunday was an exception to our improvement defensively. We are going to continue believing in our work and being strong defensively.

on how he would rate his season so far at Arsenal…
Not now because each match gives us a chance to take our target or not. My test personally is the same. I don’t use my personal situation to show things outside. I want to be together in our test, the team, club, me. We want to achieve our objectives by being in the Champions League through the Premier League or Europa League. The Europa League can give us one title possibility, but it will be very difficult. Our target to be in the Champions League next year is difficult. It’s my only focus.

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