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Arsenal boss Unai Emery opens up on the North London derby

PUBLISHED: 15:25 01 March 2019

Arsenal manager Unai Emery gestures on the touchline

Arsenal manager Unai Emery gestures on the touchline

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking about North London derby. Read on for the full transcript of what he said at the club's weekly press conference at London Colney.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery instructs his playersArsenal manager Unai Emery instructs his players

On being nominated for PL Manager of the Month for February…

Good afternoon. I don’t think about that. My focus is on tomorrow and the idea is the same. We want to be consistent and win tomorrow. I am only thinking about our performance, not in mine or one player’s. I know that if we win, we are all better than if we lose.

Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team mate Mesut Ozil during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team mate Mesut Ozil during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

On how he’s getting his side mentally prepared…

Matches like tomorrow’s, the players know that it’s important for us because we want to get three points to improve in the table. Then afterwards, it’s special for the supporters. We are playing for three points and more tommorrow.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery speaks to Arsenal's Mesut Ozil during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.Arsenal manager Unai Emery speaks to Arsenal's Mesut Ozil during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

On the key things he takes from his two north London derbies so far…

Each derby is very different to any other one we can play, and also whether we play home or away. It can be very, very different. I think tomorrow is going to be a special and exclusive match, different for them and for us.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (obscured) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot with team-mates, as a banana skin is thrown onto the pitch by a fan, during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. PAArsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (obscured) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot with team-mates, as a banana skin is thrown onto the pitch by a fan, during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. PA

On team news…

No more injuries. Our other players are all well.

On winning tomorrow and being one point behind Tottenham…

We’ve been speaking about the opportunity and each match gives us the opportunity to win three points. Sometimes we can take the big opportunity like tomorrow because there were 10 points difference between us and Spurs two weeks ago. Now it’s four points. Tomorrow we are going to play together and it’s very important for both teams. It’s very different if you win or lose. This is a big opportunity for us to play with confidence in our moment, respecting them because they lost two matches but they are still having a very good season. We want to play with confidence and also free in our minds, with a focus on our game plan. All individuals can have this confidence.

On Harry Kane avoiding a ban…

I don’t know. I don’t control that. If he’s playing tomorrow… We are going to play with the best players on the pitch, our best players, and the big test is whether every player can be ready to play to show how we are now. We want to show the difference between our players and their players.

On Mesut Ozil’s goal v Bournemouth…

Each player has the skills and Ozil has the confidence to shoot like that. I think it’s also amazing that football can have players with these skills and able to do different things on the pitch.

On whether he’d rather Ozil would finish ‘normally’…

I prefer goals.

On whether he’s done enough to start v Spurs…

For us, we are doing a plan for a lot of matches and each match is different, whether it’s home or away, the opposition and how we are in each moment. The most important thing is whether each player can be OK for tomorrow. Then we decide to play. With this, we’ll decide whether Mesut will play tomorrow.

On how Mesut has reacted to being in and out of the team…

The first thing is that he had injuries. Sometimes he’s had a bad back and then he’s sick. That’s the reason. I spoke with him and I’ve spoken to you, telling you about when he can be consistent and available to do training, to take the rhythm and the confidence to be able to play matches. That’s better for us.

On whether he trusts Mesut in big games…

I want to watch every player play in all the matches against the big teams, against all the teams.

On Claudio Ranieri losing his job…

It’s not good news when one coach is sacked. For us, like the coaches, it’s not good news. I think he worked very hard in his career and he won the Premier League three years ago. For me, more than whether it’s surprising or not, it’s not good news for coaches.

On how Arsenal can pressure Spurs…

I think tomorrow is a very different match to other matches. It’s not important about their moment or our moments, because both teams will play with motivation. It’ll be different for us because it’s away and more against their supporters. For us to prepare, it’s about thinking about the best Tottenham, and thinking we need to be strong going into the match tomorrow.

On whether they talk about finishing above Tottenham…

Usually I’m not thinking about the ‘if’s. I’m thinking in the present and the moment. We will prepare to deliver the best performance individually and collectively. We need to be strong and we need to be very concentrated over 90 minutes and we need to read different moments in 90 minutes. When we get our chances, we need to be efficient in attacking moments against them.

On whether we need to finish in the top four...

That is the same. I want to enjoy each moment, I want to enjoy tomorrow, and I want to be very efficient in each moment. Tomorrow we will play and we will enjoy it. I know that if we win, if we can produce the best performance tomorrow, we will be happy and we are going to be better off in the table - but that is not my target today. My target today is to prepare for the match as best as possible and to take the best confidence in our gameplay. After, to help the players to do their best over 90 minutes on the pitch.

On why Arsenal can win tomorrow…

We can feel stronger with our supporters at home. They are going to feel the same tomorrow I’m sure, but we need to be concentrated and to play our game, remaining focused with our strong tactical and individual things on the pitch. It’s a big test for us and a very big opportunity for us and we need to feel our moment, because it’s very important to go ahead in each moment to take the three points.

On playing at Wembley…

Yes. I am looking forward to playing the match tomorrow and watching our performance, and hopefully enjoying 90 minutes with a very big atmosphere. We know our supporters are going to be with us, more their supporters, but our supporters will be there. Together, we can be concentrated on doing the rest.

On objects being thrown onto the pitch…

Focus on the match and our activity in 90 minutes doing the individual things, not wasting time with the referee, the opposition or their supporters. The focus is being strong in our gameplan and playing.

On where the derby stands in terms of passionate derbies…

These two matches at home, we won and lost. We played both well but tomorrow it’s very different. Our objective is the same: play with a big personality. We know its a great test for us and that we can take a good position in the table playing with our personality, if we can get our chances like we want.

In terms of the passion…

I think each derby is important for all. Above all, it’s the emotion and controlling that is very important. After, the enthusiasm is very important in each player and to show everybody we feel something different.

On Pochettino not winning trophies…

He’s young. He has done a great job in all the teams in his career, especially here, in Tottenham. I have a lot of respect for him like a person, because he’s a good person but above all like a professional and a coach. He’s young and he’s going to do important things in football. I hope tomorrow won’t be the case. I know him, respect him a lot and he’s a very good coach.

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