Press conference

‘It was a wake-up call, but not loud enough’

It was all going so well.

Per Mertesacker, making his first league start since April 2016, had powered in a header to give us a deserved lead against Watford.

But by the final whistle the captain had gone from likely matchwinner to distraught and defeated.

This is Per’s take on the game:

on where it went wrong…
With the injuries, especially in the second half towards the end of the game, we want to make changes to bring more energy, to make a difference at the end of the day. I think we could have done a little bit better, when we gained possession we lost it straight away. I think we struggled a lot in terms of that and that’s not our game, you could sense that we struggled a lot in those scenes where they just regained the ball back as quickly as they could.

on the penalty…
I’m not sure, I cannot tell. Honestly, it’s so quick these actions, it’s difficult to judge and the referee made that decision. I think for us it was kind of a wake-up call, but it wasn’t loud enough.

on having the chances to win…
Yes, I think that’s what we lacked, especially in the second half, you know when we got the ball we missed a chance, but we missed as well to play, we missed it completely. That’s what we did really well in the first half, where we regained possession, kept possession, that was really good. In the second half we just wasted the ball and that’s obviously not enough. If you just protect and you have no chances on the break and you miss one chance to kill the game, then it’s difficult in the Premier League to win any game.

on being back playing in the Premier League…
I mean obviously it’s important, but if you want to make the difference on the pitch, you know in the second half even myself it was difficult to push. I have to do better next time, that is my target, to push these guys more that we get more out of that when we get the ball.

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