We saw last year when the pressure was on in the FA Cup the players played their best stuff. Do you think when the pressure is on your players actually perform to their highest levels?
This is what they’ve shown since I’ve been here. In moments of big pressure, in moments where we have to deliver they’ve done it. Not only in the final against Chelsea, in the final against Liverpool when we won the Community Shield as well, but in some moments in this Europa League as well when the tie was against us and we had to find a way to go through. So I am positive that we have this experience now as well and the players believe they can do it.
What did Unai Emery tell you about Arsenal when you spoke to him?
He was very honest, very open and I was grateful because it’s not something very, very common. But I know a lot of people that work with him, a lot of people that have been around him and they all say the same thing that as a person he’s a fantastic man. Obviously he’s a great manager, but they highlight the man behind it as well and who he is. In that situation, because it came from him, which is unusual, I was surprised and I was grateful as I said.
Were you surprised it didn’t work for him?
Well it didn’t work for him but he did a lot of good things at the club. In the time that he had here he reached a European final, he had a team competing for the Champions League. The club decided to go a different route and that’s it. I think he did a lot of good things as well.
With everything that’s gone over the past week and this being such an important game have you had to do anything differently to prepare?
Try to focus just on what we have to do, what we can control on that pitch, and leave the rest of the things for people to talk and to speculate. It’s the only way we can help the club and we can be at our best by focusing on the pitch. The rest is nothing to do with us.
Do you think the criticism of Unai was unfair?
Again I don’t know the reason that he was criticised. You asked me about the job that he did, what the people at the club said about him and I can only have good and nice words to him.
As somebody who has played for the club do you understand why fans will have hope for club legends to be involved in a takeover from the Kroenkes?
Yes I can understand that. As well I understand that people will have different opinions within the same feeling. Some will be more against, something, more against the other thing. What I’m saying is the statement was very clear yesterday.