Gatting on Wilshere, Diaby, Gnabry

Steve Gatting faced the media after Arsenal Under-21s’ 1-0 defeat against Reading at Emirates Stadium on Monday. You can read a full transcript of his interview below:

on the result…The result was disappointing and the performance was okay. We came out with some good positives. Abou Diaby was excellent in the time he was on the pitch and Jack Wilshere was outstanding - the best player on the pitch by far. Serge Gnabry got through it for the second 90 minutes he’s played for us and it’s minutes on the pitch that will get their sharpness back.

on Gnabry…It’s up to the manager whether he continues to play with the under-21s for the rest of the season. We’re delighted when we get the first-team players, they all do well for us and give us that experience, and the boys learn from it.

on creating chances…We created a lot of chances throughout the whole game and it rested on the lack of discipline and concentration from their set-piece. Perhaps not taking the many, many half-chances we had cost us. That little bit of quality in the final third and penetration was perhaps missing too and let us down a bit. We’ve got to give Reading credit, I thought they defended really well.

on Reading being well organised…They’ve got an experienced team and a lot have played in their first team. They were hard to break down once they went that goal up.

on Middlesbrough…It will be a tough one. They’re top of the league and we travel there on Monday with a younger side but that doesn’t matter because we’ll try to get a result and more importantly play well.

on the promotion race…It’ll be nice to get promoted but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t. It’s about the development of the kids. It would be nice to play against Chelsea and Tottenham but if it’s not to be then it’s not to be. The kids are developing well and none of the games we’ve played have been easy, so it’s been challenging for them and they are learning. We played one of the better teams on Monday and it’s a challenge for them so they learn more. They learn what they’re not so good at and what they are, and that’s the way forward. They’re playing on a fantastic pitch with international players and in front of 2,000 fans - it can only help.