Press conference

Transcript: Emery on defeat and the top four race

After a disappointing 2-0 defeat at high-flying Leicester, head coach Unai Emery faced the media.

He discussed his game plan, the race for the Champions League places and where he feels the team need to improve.

Read on for a transcript of the post-match press conference:

on the game...
Good evening. We can be disappointed with the result but with the attitude of the players, they did the game plan we prepared for. We started the first half by having chances by controlling the game, and at the start of the second half too, in our moment like we wanted. They created some chances too and when they scored the first goal, that's when we lost the opportunity to do something in that match.

on our Premier League position...
The attitude was good, the game plan was prepared for and the players did that. The other team are in a good moment, at home and feeling strong. We had chances, we had our moments, to reduce the deficit, but they had chances too and scored two goals to win. We now have distance from them in the table but we have time and with the possibility of being consistent, we can recover our confidence, recover the points. We want to have success for us, we want to challenge. We want to improve and we want to take the balance in the team.

on the gap between us and the top four...
It depends because now Chelsea and Leicester are with Liverpool and Manchester City - they have got a difference between them and us. But also, we have Manchester United and Tottenham behind us. It's been a very equal competition with a lot of teams, but really now the difference that Chelsea and Leicester have created with us... they've had time to be consistent. The competition is 38 matches and now we are behind them with nine points difference. It's good for them but we have time to achieve and recover that difference.

on what needs to change to win again...
We need to feel stronger at home, at the Emirates. This is the first way I want to achieve that and I want to do that with the players. If we can feel strong at home, take confidence and take points with a good performance, I know we will achieve points and good matches against every team. The next match is our challenge now at home. We haven't lost at home but we have drawn matches where we lost points and the possibility of being better in the table. The loss here is also because they are in a good moment, are one with their supporters and feel strong here. But we worked on our game plan as we prepared and I think we did that. The difference is that they scored the first goal and then we lost that structure.

on some people saying we need to change our manager...
For me, as a coach, it's about continuing stronger and improving with our players. I am speaking with the club to stay calm and to stay patient to improve and recover some confidence with some circumstances. We have young players who are improving and growing up with us. We are receiving criticism but I know that's my job. I've had lots of moments like that but I've recovered by working to get confidence, being together with the club and players.

on whether criticism is fair...
I accept it all. I accept the applause and I accept it when they criticise us. I know when we win, they are going to be happy and when we lose, they are going to be sad. It's normal. We need to stay calm and also to keep improving things. Today we got one step ahead by being together and being strong defensively. But we lost because we were playing a very strong team in a good moment.on whether he fe
els he has time to turn it around...We've had some negative circumstances at the beginning of the season. The last month or so, I think the team have had those negative circumstances and it's not given us that emotional balance. The players, the club and me are speaking and we know we need some passion and we need to recover our confidence. I spoke with the players and the club in that moment and we need to be patient with some young players, with some circumstances, and we have time and the matches to recover that. I am sure we are going to do that.

on playing defensively against Leicester...
We need to improve defensively. I think we had a good balance today in the first half. When they scored the first goal, maybe that's the moment we lost the balance. But the possession was 50/50 and also we kept the ball, we took the possibility of playing with the transition sometimes. Sometimes we were also keeping the ball and getting forward with our full backs because we have good full backs in attack with Sead and Hector. I think the players felt good today in the balance of that system.

on the five at the back...
Last year for example we used three centre backs or sometimes a back four - and really well. It depends how we are and how we can feel our best qualities and best skills as players. We used that system a lot of times last year and with a very good result.