Interview

‘Unai's given me confidence to feel comfortable’

Ainsley Maitland-Niles had a tough start to life under Unai Emery, but he’s found form in recent weeks.

Starting our opening game of the season against Manchester City, the 21-year-old was substituted after just half an hour with a fibula fracture which would ultimately sideline him for 10 weeks.
 
It was a tough time for Maitland-Niles but the versatile midfielder has come back stronger, and has thanked Emery for his resurgence.
 
“I feel more comfortable this season,” he said. “It is the manager that has given me the confidence to feel comfortable. He gives me a lot of confidence when I’m playing. He tells me what I need to get better at. We have regular conversations which settles me more before games, knowing what he wants me to do.
 
“He has brought a lot of energy to the club - he is very passionate about his football as well.
 
“Everyone is still trying to get used to it but it is going well at the moment. It’s all about trying to get as far in any competition we are involved in. It is a new season for us in that everything has changed.
 
“There are a lot of different things happening around the club, such as the manager, and this season is more about adapting to what he wants from all the players, taking information from him and sharing it with others.
 
“I’m just looking forward into the future and maybe finishing fourth as well. Getting back in the Champions League would be nice.”