'Conditions dictated the game'

Steve Gatting

Steve Gatting spoke to after Arsenal Under-21s suffered their first defeat in five elite group stage matches away at Southampton on Thursday night. Below is a transcript of the interview:

on the performance…
Conditions dictated the game really. The pitch was very bobbly, there was lots of wind and it became a bit of a head tennis match in the second half. I suppose the only three real bits of quality were the goals.

on resting players involved in the NextGen Series…
The NextGen boys went to Lake Como and played two games in three days. We've got a game at Liverpool on Monday so this was about giving them a rest and giving some of the older boys some time on the pitch.

on Eastmond's goal…
It was a great finish - a real moment of quality. On a bobbly pitch, it was headed out from a cross and he hit it first time with his instep and found the top of the net.

on the goal just after the break changing the game…
It's always going to be tough against the wind in the second half. They played to their strengths. They were big at the back and headed it, they hooked it on and tried to keep us in the defensive third.

on chances created…
I think Zak Ansah had both the chances. He went through and hit the keeper's legs. On another day, he might have put it in.

on positives to take to Liverpool…
It wasn't a great game for us. There wasn't much quality in it but we kept battling and trying to do the right things. It wasn't meant to be.

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