'We showed resilience and commitment'

Arsène Wenger

Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after the Sunderland game. Here is a transcript of his press conference:

on the win…It was tight in the end. It was a game with a high level of intensity where we showed brilliance going forward, but unfortunately we couldn’t score the second goal. We had to show another side in the second half, especially being down to 10 men in the last 20 minutes. We needed to be resilient, committed and deal with everything. I think it was a typical Premier League game with top quality on both sides.

on character…I believe we have been quite consistent away from home since the start of the season. You saw today that the team is up for a fight. Without that, we wouldn’at have got the three points today.

on Szczesny…He was excellent today. I believe the defence was excellent, when you think that Sagna was told 15 minutes before the start that he would play centre back. I believe he dealt with what he faced in an excellent way. He and Mertesacker were excellent.

on Koscielny’s injury…It’s a calf problem. We think it’s a question of days [until he returns] because he had a positive scan. He [came off for France] at half time [on Wednesday] and we decided to give him a trial in the warm up. He was not good enough. I don’t think it’s long-term.

on WIlshere’s knock…It was a big kick on the thigh. He couldn’t walk. He doesn’t walk properly now. I hope it’s four or five days [until he’s back].

on tackles…I was a bit frustrated because I thought Jack didn’t get the free kicks he deserved. The referee let two or three things go that I thought were a foul on Jack.

on if Sunderland singled out Wilshere…No. When you have the midfield we have with Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta and Ramsey, they want to stop us from playing and combining so they get close to us.

on if he wanted more protection from the referee…I just want the referee to give a foul when it’s a foul. I don’t want any special protection. The referee is not a bodyguard. We just want him to give a foul when it’s a foul.

on having to win…We were under pressure to win today. We could not afford to drop points, I said that after the Chelsea game. We are in a situation where we cannot drop points anymore. No matter where we play, we need the three points.

on Cazorla’s performance…Top, top class. When you think that this guy is not a regular in the Spanish national team, it shows you how good they are. I think he had an outstanding performance today.

on disappointment at not being more than one goal up after an hour…Today we lacked efficiency in our finishing and we didn’t finish what we created. We create and that’s positive. Sometimes it’s like that. If you look at our games, we score five, seven, and suddenly sometimes we don’t score. The team is still learning and developing and needs to be a bit more efficient.

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