Press conference

Unai Emery on Ozil, Ramsey, Holding and Koscielny

Unai Emery

A well-deserved draw at Manchester United. The availability of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey. The return of Laurent Koscielny. And concerns over Rob Holding.

Unai Emery addressed all this and more when he sat down for his latest appearance in front of the media on Thursday.

Read on for a full transcript of the press conference:

on his assessment of the Man United game…
This is a very big challenge this week. We are going to finish Saturday against Huddersfield. At the moment we have a good feeling after a good result, but we need to close with a victory on Saturday. It’s important first that the supporters feel a good situation in the games against Tottenham and Manchester United, away it’s a big challenge for us. We drew back and we worked to win and, with a little more luck, we could have won the match. Now our focus is all on Huddersfield and the three points. It’s a team that is very well organised. They played in Bournemouth, they lost but played well. They won at [Wolves] and every team has good players and organisation here in the Premier League. We need the same spirit as on Sunday. Every supporter needs to feel that with us, and push like they pushed against Tottenham. The draw yesterday is only good if we win against Huddersfield.

on going 20 games unbeaten…
We only think about the next match and prepare as well as possible. Then, we’ve created team spirit with confidence, improving things we needed to do better. Defensively we are conceding a lot of goals in each match, but the balance at the moment is positive because our attacking players are creating a lot of chances and we are scoring a lot. That’s good but we need to take a good balance in the attacking and defensive moments. We have changed to three at the back and sometimes with two or three midfielders. We need to continue improving and looking for the best balance for both.

on Rob Holding…
We are waiting. The club can give us communication about this. The best news for me is [being] calm, but the doctors are looking at him and they are going to communicate with us.

on if he fears a long-term injury…
At the moment, the first news is not good.

on Ramsey’s injury…
It’s a different injury. It’s smaller than Rob’s. Today it’s very early because this morning we have been working, but with the players who didn’t play yesterday. Tomorrow we’ll train before the game on Saturday and that’s the moment you can know if the players will be OK or not for Saturday.

on Fellaini pulling Guendouzi’s hair…
When I was a player it was the same. Today, with the cameras, all the situations happening in the 90 minutes can be seen. Some questions are, for me, between the players on the pitch. If it’s not a good action they can receive a card. On the pitch, the situation happened and it’s between the players.

on if there’s any place for what Fellaini did…
I think the best thing for the next match is for Matteo to cut his hair, and this problem is finished! Like Fellaini did!

on if he’s told him that…
No, I respect the players’ hair a lot!

on Koscielny and his expected return date…
We are on a gradual way with him. He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday. Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training. He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.

on what it means having Koscielny back…
Experience, quality, personality. We need every player and we need also for him to train with us. The next step is playing. He can play with us and be with us normally.

on Ozil and his expected return date…
He had backache and now he’s working with the physio. We are going to look at when he can come back with us.

on if Ozil could be involved on Saturday…
This morning he worked with the physiotherapist on the pitch, running and touching the ball. Tomorrow will be the decision.

on if he’s ever gone 20 games unbeaten before…
I can’t remember - maybe yes, maybe not. I live [in the] present in every day, in every year. The only thing is about Huddersfield, the games happen very quickly for the players, for me, for us. Maybe I’ve won, maybe I lost, but I need to win on Saturday.

on what he’s made of Huddersfield…
I’ve learnt in the Premier League that every team has good players, good organisation, good possibilities in the 90 minutes against every team. On Saturday, the first thing is a very big respect, more than Manchester United, more than Tottenham, because we need a high level in our performance to win against them. At the beginning, sure we need a high level individually and collectively. I told you at the beginning of this press conference, on Tuesday against Bournemouth, they played a very good match. Also they won at [Wolves] in the last match away. On Saturday, they are going to push a lot and [will want] a surprise. We are very convinced in our way - work, prepare, respect, push with our supporters at the Emirates and feel the spirit with them. 

on David Wagner’s job…
Very good work. He’s done very good work, organised. Each team, each coach, each player here has positive [aspects]. The opposition we need to respect a lot in every match.

on upcoming ‘winnable’ games…
The next match.