Press conference

Arteta on Newcastle, bouncing back, injuries

Mikel Arteta faced the media on Saturday ahead of our Premier League clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on Monday night.

The boss was asked about the latest team news, bouncing back after the north London derby and the challenge posed by Eddie Howe's side, among other topics.

Read on for a full transcript:

on which of our defenders are fit...
It's a good question! We will know probably more tomorrow, so we wanted to extend this period as much as possible to understand how they are recovering, how they are feeling, assess them and tomorrow probably we will know more about how they are.

on which players he is waiting for more news on...
Yes, Ben and Gabi.

on how he reflects on the north London derby...
[I look] forwards. I said after the press conference, I just look forwards, that game was lost, we were disappointed, but we didn't have any time to recover and we have a huge game to play on Monday against Newcastle and full focus and energy was just on that.

on Antonio Conte's post-match comments...
I am fully focused on Newcastle.

on how we played against Tottenham...
We started the game extremely well, that we conceded the first goal and the way we conceded after that decision and obviously after the game, got into a situation that is difficult to judge or assess, but I said it, I was really proud of the players, how they tried to handle the situation, but obviously very disappointed with the result.

on what he's learnt from his players since the defeat...
How lucky I am to have them, how they stand under any difficulty, how much they are looking forward to play on Monday, how excited they are about the challenge ahead, because we all know everything that we've been through throughout the season and how much we have to fight to be in this position.

on if Thursday was the lowest moment of his career...
Thursday was another one. Obviously losing a derby is always painful and having been through the situation we went in the game, it's like that, but as well, you learn a lot probably more than with any victory, so it's good to go through those moments sometimes.

on the players' confidence levels being damaged since the defeat...
That it was a possibility and that we knew that to get in the position that we are today, a lot has happened in the past and we've been through it, we've experienced it and hopefully, that can help us again on Monday.

on the reaction he's expecting to see from the players...
The excitement that they've shown me every day. The way they've come in today with the energy that they were with today to play the game and very willing to go there and perform at the highest level.

on Newcastle's progress since January...
Well, you can see what Eddie and the coaching staff have done. Straight away they tried to modify the way they were playing, they have changed formation a few times, but after that they've been quite consistent and they have turned the place around I think in a really good way, and so merit to them.

on the type of atmosphere that he's expecting at St James' Park...
This is the Premier League and it's great to go to away grounds and experience those moments. As an athlete, you want to be exposed to that and take it in the right way and feel lucky to play these kind of games.

on how we might adjust to more injuries...
We will have to modify certain positions to try to make it work, because we don't have more defenders and even though we have academy players, they haven't experienced a lot of those positions because they're not specified central defenders, so it's something that we will try to find a way.

on how likely it is that White and Gabriel will be fit...
I could [give you an estimate], but I will probably be telling you whatever! Tomorrow will be the day we will have better answers, probably not the answers that we want until matchday, but hopefully better answers.

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