Quotes

'We knew what to expect, and dealt with it'

Shkodran Mustafi was satisfied with the way we defended in Sunday's 0-0 draw with Burnley.

The centre back spoke to the media after the match and discussed the match in detail - and how he has fought to get back into the team.

This is what he said:

on the test against Burnley…
We’ve played here before, and we knew what we were expecting. I think we dealt well with it because it’s not obviously our type of football but you know when you come here you have to deal with it first, then try to put your game on the pitch. Unfortunately we only had it on a few occasions and only 15-20 minute spells where we could do what we wanted to do. Unfortunately it was not enough to win the game in the end and I think we have to work more on that to try to put our game more on the pitch for 90 minutes, not only for parts of the game. When we do that we’ll start winning games. 

on defending against Burnley…
We tried to put pressure on it so they don’t put the long balls in easier. You cannot always stop it so we knew that we have to defend the balls but, as well, it was important to win the second balls but I think that we did it in parts of the game very good, especially at the end. I think we won our duels in the first balls and even the second balls, and I think that's when we started and we had the ball a bit where we could play our football. We need to handle that better and for 90 minutes. 

on his physical health…
[My injury] looked very bad on the screen against Bournemouth. Our doctors are very careful with injuries, they try to protect us as much as possible so they try to make me go safety first but then after I received the scan I think it was clear that with a painkiller and you go back on the pitch. 

on forcing his way back into the team…
For me it’s always been the same, I always try to put my personal stuff behind me and be there for the team. Always when the team needed me I wanted to be there, not only in the games but as well in training. It’s easy to be professional when things are going good but I think it’s the same and important when things are not going so good personally, to be professional. At the end of the day, we are here to work and we are here to play for a big club. I always wanted to be ready and be there and whenever the team or the coach needs me I always say I’m going to be there. 

on believing in his chance to play for Arsenal…
At the end of the day we know how it is in football. You always get your chances, you always get the possibilities to go again and go again and when you start thinking like you said, I think it’s when you retire from football. It’s not a way a professional should think. 

on gaining a point…
I think we had chances but they had chances as well, so I think at the end of the day we have to accept that it was a fair draw. 

on the team’s mentality…
We always try to do everything, to put our game plan first on the pitch. When you come to places like this you know that you are going to expect a different type of football than you would like. You have to deal with it and I think in parts of the game we dealt with it very good because it’s very important to win the first ball, the long balls. As well you need to be there for the second and I think we did that in parts of the game good but i think to win games like this you have to do it for 90 minutes. I think that’s where we have to look at the next games and try and put things for 90 minutes on the pitch. 

on defending at Turf Moor…
It’s not easy because they have big strikers, they have strikers that are used to fight every time the long balls especially from the wide areas. I’m not the biggest centre-half but I think it’s important to just go and try and win. I think you have to expect it first because if you come here and you think you’re going to play nice football and you’re not going to get hurt then you’re going to lose games like this. You have to accept it and go for it and even when you lose he first ball you have to have a teammate that wins the second ball and the third ball and I think we did it in parts of the game very good but I think we just have to do it for a full game. 

on Aubameyang returning from suspension…
I don’t think he was lacking in sharpness because he may not be playing but he’s training. We train every day and I thought the header went in so it’s good [that he is back] because we know he’s a good goalscorer and he was unlucky he didn’t get a goal here. We have to go again. 

on the team’s transition…
I don’t now how to say it but we are now in a situation where we just need to win the games and I think as soon as we start doing that the confidence will come. You will get a push off the confidence and I think that’s going to be so important for us because we want to play football and to play football the way we want to play is we have to have confidence and the personality. I think that as soon as we can start winning games again, I think we’re going to be on the right track. 
 

 

 

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