Press conference

‘I feel a deep pain, the players feel that too'

When Mikel Arteta drove out of Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, he felt a “deep pain” at our Europa League semi-final defeat to Villarreal.

That feeling is shared by his players - so how does our manager get them to harness that between now and the end of the Premier League season?

"Well, first of all you have to go through the pain that caused last night’s disappointment," Arteta said. "After that, we have a responsibility and we have to be professional. 

"We know that we have four games to play, which still have things to define, and the best way to do that is on Sunday go out there and show how much we care, how painful that [was] and win the football match.

"[The players] do feel the pain when you look at the state of that dressing room. It was sad because they put so much into it. They tried to go through every obstacle that we had in the competition. This is a results-based sport and an inch can define success or failure, and it happened. 

"We have no time [to think too deeply about that pain] because we have a game on Sunday, we have a training session this morning and it has to be by today when you leave the training ground, most of it has to be out of the system. I think you have to leave some of it in some of your system, and use some of it in the right way as an energy driver in the game on Sunday.

"What I felt last night was a deep pain because the moment the club is in at the moment, with everything it has been through over the last months, I had a feeling that if we could take the team to the final, it could be a great turning point. I felt that responsibility and I was so eager to achieve that because I knew it could be a defining moment. 

"Not being able to achieve it has been really tough personally obviously. I know that we have disappointed a lot of people as well, and that really hurts because we want to give the best to everybody but one thing I made clear is that to do what we want to do, I have no doubts that we are going to achieve it. If not, I wouldn't be sat here."

 

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