Press conference

‘I cannot fault Sokratis or his commitment’


Sokratis will miss next week’s Europa League last-16 second-leg clash with Rennes after he was sent off in Thursday’s match at Roazhon Park.

The Greece international was booked twice within seven first-half minutes, as we slipped to defeat in northwest France.

Unai Emery was asked about Sokratis after the game. This is what he said:

on Sokratis’ red card…
The first 40 minutes I think we controlled, we scored and we didn't concede good chances to them. But after this red card, it's different. It's more than we wanted and I think we can do better. But the result is for the first match and for the first 90 minutes. Losing 3-1 is hard for us, but we are going to start the next match, next week with 11 against 11 and with the same respect we have had in the first half, the first 40 minutes. We are going to do that at home against them. But we need to also change our performance and I have the confidence with our players, with our supporters helping us to create one big atmosphere to give us a good spirit against them to come back.

on whether Sokratis deserved his red card…
I think we changed more than we want, but a red card can come. Two yellow cards and it's the referee's decision. After, I think we must learn to play - when it's coming like today - with one less player on the pitch. Not a good experience today, because we couldn't do our work in difficult moments, in difficult minutes, with one less player, like we wanted. I think we can do better. I am positive in the first 40 minutes because I think, with respect to them, we imposed our gameplay in these moments. We can maybe score a second goal because we deserved to, but after it is really very different in the match. I cannot say to Sokratis because he has very good commitment, he has very good behaviour and he received two yellow cards in two actions of playing. But we are going to think, for the next week, we are going to start 11 against 11, without Sokratis and without Lacazette, but we have players. Like the first 40 minutes, we can do it with our supporters also, to have the possibility to come back. But we know this result is not good. It is bad and it is going to be tough for us. But we need to do with focus and with our players, this possibility to come back.

on three red cards in recent weeks…
No. I think it's not easy. We can analyse these three red cards individually.

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