‘Holding was one of the positives’

Rob Holding made his Premier League debut on Sunday as we ended up on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline at the Emirates. Here’s what the boss said about Rob’s performance - and the game itself.

on a defeat that could have been a win…
It could have been [so much better] because I feel we had a great first half. [We were] very dynamic going forward. We dropped in the second half a little bit, I believe a little bit for psychological reasons, just [because of] the 1-1 just before half-time. After that we dropped physically as well and 2-1 straight after half-time was a huge blow. I believe that we kept going and we have shown mental strength and overall there are many positive aspects in our game, but we are very disappointed because we lost the game.

on bossing the first half…
Yes, I’m very disappointed. We have to take it like that and prepare for the next game. I’m convinced that there’s a lot to come from this team and from this group and we have to recover from that blow and prepare for our next game.

on Rob Holding’s debut…
I think he did very well overall. He was one of the positives of our game today. He has shown intelligence and quality in defending and quality in passing forward and overall I think it’s a very positive game [for him].

on Xhaka needing more time…
Look, him and Ramsey [and others] - they all came back later. I pushed Ramsey in and he got injured. It’s a very difficult situation to sort out because the players come back late because of the Euros and, on top of that, you play them and they get injured. [But] if you don’t play them you miss them.


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