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Boss on Keane, Vieira, tunnel etiquette

Our 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester United on Sunday kept alive our hopes of finishing in the top four this season.

After the game, some pundits questioned why players from both sides embraced in the tunnel pre-match.

The manager was asked for his response to that in his pre-match press conference. Read on for what he said:

on pundits criticising what happened in the tunnel before the United game…Yes, I think I understand that the pundits are a bit surprised by that because 10 or 15 years ago that did not exist. But it is an overall, international thing now. You can watch Real Madrid against Barcelona - it’s the same, because people play together, come from the same country. I was surprised as well I must say, but I must confess as well that it doesn’t stop the players to focus and concentrate after on the game. It’s pictures we were not used to seeing, but it’s part of the modern game. But I must say as well, today you have cameras everywhere. Maybe as well it happened 10 or 15 years ago but there was no camera in the corridor before the game.

on that not happening in the Keane and Vieira days…I agree with you. But it doesn’t look that because of that the commitment an the focus of the players has gone down.

on the United game…We built our success with intelligence and patience and organisation. We took advantage of the chances we created at the right moments in the game. From that on, I felt that it was good for us because we responded after the last Sunday. It gives us still a chance to go into the top four.

on whether performance v United gives Arsenal confidence they need for run-in…Yes of course. The confidence is an important part of success, but let’s not forget that we have 63 points. We have won games before. In the past five games, we’ve won four, so overall we’ve had a bad spell but we’ve recovered from it. We have to show now that we can be consistent until the end of the season.

on how much momentum he feels in the club at the moment…It gives us confidence to create that momentum. If you look at the schedule, we play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday, so we have to show that we can focus in every single game. We have to use the squad in a very efficient way because we play four games of high intensity in 10 days. It will be important that everybody in the squad contributes at the right moment.

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