Arsenal boss Unai Emery: Huddersfield is a must-win match
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Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking at his weekly press conference at London Colney as he previews the Gunners trip to Huddersfield. Read on for Layth Yousif’s report from the club’s training ground.
Emery has been discussing the Gunners away record, Denis Suarez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and much more. Read on for a full transcript of his press conference:
On this being a good opportunity to improve away form…
Good afternoon. Yes, but difficult. These matches are difficult and they are playing for the possibility to continue in the Premier League. Their last results have not been good but with their new coach, I am sure that they are going to play with a big ambition and a big performance on Saturday. I think they have good players with a good organisation. They push a lot and I know it will be difficult. For us as well, away games have been a challenge and each match is a new challenge. Each match is also a very big opportunity for us to fight for the possibility to take three points and continue in our way better than how we are doing in away games now.
On being patient and calm at Huddersfield…
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The organisation is about thinking to go into the positions. I think they are going to do high pressing and they are going to build up with good organisation to break our lines. It’s not about thinking that they’re going to be deep defensively because they’re organised. I think they are going to push and they are going to do a lot of duels on the pitch against us. We are working on that and we also need to improve on our away form, how we can do better playing against teams who press high against us.
On who is likely to be available…
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Ainsley today is training with us as normal. Mkhitaryan also played 45 minutes on Monday with the under-23s. Today, Aubameyang is sick but I think he’s okay for Saturday. Also yesterday, Laurent Koscielny was sick but today he is training well. I think the other players are well and will be OK for Saturday.
On whether Mkhitaryan will be ready…
We thought last week that with two training sessions after six weeks being injured, it was not enough to play against Manchester City. But after this week, playing with the under-23s and working with us, I think it is the first time I can think about him being with us.
On Maitland-Niles’ return…
He stopped for 10 days but physically I think he is okay. He was working with us well today and if tomorrow he is continuing with a good feeling, he can also be with us on Saturday.
On whether Denis Suarez will start…
The first day last week was adaption to us and also with 25 minutes against Manchester City. But already from the first day with us, he was already with good performance, but this week he worked Monday with our coaches and also yesterday. Today he is working with different adaptation and better than last week. I hope he will continue, he is improving every day with us. Then I hope he can show in the next matches how he can help us better than in the first match against Manchester City.
On Sven Mislintat leaving this week…
I have been working with him for eight months and my relationship with him is good. Also, when I arrived here, there were young players coming here, and they decided to because his responsibility is with some players. I think he has a very good scouting responsibility for his past and his present. I worked well with him but after, it is one decision between the club and him. I don’t know exactly all but I respect him and the club. I worked well with him and I wish good luck for him in his future.
On criticism of himself on social media over our away form…
But my first critic is always myself. I work over the criticisms of me because I know that work in the present can change our way. How we are doing at home and away, we are with the possibility and the opportunity of taking the top four. But we know it’s not easy. One month ago, we were in the same situation and I think we are strong at home. I think we need to do better away. We started very well away, changing also our mentality to get more points away, but now we need to recover this confidence, to recover this performance and the next opportunity is Saturday against Huddersfield. We know that defensively we need to do better and it’s for all, the combinations, our best possibility with the defensive combinations. We’ve tried playing with three centre-backs and two centre-backs. We’ve won with three centre-backs and two centre-backs. We have to continue in our way with passion and also stay calm, but above all we must work hard and take a good feeling in training and then show it in the match. This week for example, we’ve had good days of training because the feeling of the players and their wish to work every day is good. I want to do the same on Saturday against Huddersfield. After that, we know we can win but if we cannot win it’s different. We need to be confident and take more confidence and continue working.
On whether this is a must-win match…
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29