Gatting on Diaby, Bellerin and victory

Arsenal Under-21s manager Steve Gatting spoke to after the young Gunners extended their unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa.

Read a transcript of what he had to say below:

on the win…
It was a tough game. We said before the game that when you come to Villa and these sorts of places they make it hard for you, they close you down and they press you all the time. It was tough from the word go. We got the goal and we needed to take one of our other chances to maybe take the pressure off us because while it was 1-0 it was tense.

on Chuba Akpom…
If you’ve got a goalscorer in your team then you’re going to do well. Chuba scores goals and so far this season he’s got six in four games. It’s nice to have someone like that in your team.

on how important it is to keep the momentum going…
Winning improves confidence and positivity around the place. We want to keep it going. Obviously you want to win every game you can, sometimes it doesn’t happen that way but it’s a positive start.

on under-21s playing at Premier League grounds…
In my opinion it should happen more often but it won’t because people don’t want the pitch used. But it’s a great experience for the boys to play in a big stadium like this on a perfect pitch. It gives us a lift doing it and I think this year we’re quite lucky because a few games are on teams’ main pitches.

on what the under-21s can learn from players like Diaby…
It’s nice to play with players who more often than not do the right things. They make the right decisions at the right time and they’re in the right place at the right time. It comes from experience and that’s what they bring to the team. The boys look at them and they think ‘that’s quite simple’, but it’s not. It’s a skill and with their experience they’ve earned that skill. So the boys look up to it and obviously with their organisation it’s only good for the young boys playing with them.

on whether they’re also looking up to Bellerin…
Possibly. I think it’s an added incentive for the boys. Hector now is training with the first team on a regular basis and he’s in the manager’s thoughts, which shows the boys there’s a pathway into our first team.

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