Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa

Manager Wenger: ‘I am proud of the attitude of the team’

on the performance…
The result was vital today because it was absolutely important to win the game, we could not afford to drop points for two reasons. The first is that we are in a catch-up situation in the Premier League and [secondly] we have come out of two massive disappointments. But it was interesting as well to see that we were focused, united, a bit nervous and you could see we played a little bit with the handbrake in some situations because the second goal didn’t come. We were also strong because when Villa came back to 1-1 we found the resources to respond and win the game. The regret we have is that we could have scored many goals today and created an unbelievable number of chances and didn’t score. But I am proud of the attitude of the team because we went through some difficult days and responded in a united way.

on the race for the top four…
We cannot drop points, I have said that many times after the Chelsea game. That is what is in our minds, no matter where we go and who we play.

on the past week…
What is most difficult is not the critics, it is that we lost the last two games. I am not here to lose games, I want win. What hurts me the most is that we lost to Blackburn at home and Bayern at home. When people come to the Emirates, they are not to go away with wins. All the rest concerns me less. Of course [it has been difficult], but you do your job and focus on the next game and try to win it. That is what we did. I am not 30 years in this job at the top level and going to be destroyed by people saying I don’t know what I’m doing. I have been in this job a long time and what is important is that we have responsibilities and we have to stand up for them and get the team ready to go into the next game ready to fight.

on chasing Tottenham…
We are in a catch-up situation and we depend a little bit on the results of the other teams but vastly on our consistency. The key for us is to be consistent and that is why today a draw would have been a very, very bad result for us.

on Santi Cazorla
Santi played very well and delivered in a game that was very important. He is a great player, which you have noticed since the start of the season. I am happy and grateful he delivered two important goals today.

on Cazorla’s goals…
I did not expect him to score so many goals, because there are still 11 games to go so he could get a few more. For me he is a complete player because he also has spirit. He continued to fight until the last minute even though he was a bit tired. He is a good example to follow because every day he is happy to come and play and practice. When he is on the pitch he gives you everything.

on Wilshere playing further forward…
It gives us a bit more security defensively [in the holding role] and I believe he can play a bit deeper. He has a little burst in the final third and still has the quality to play in there, but you want him to score goals and give assists. I think he can do it.

on Abou Diaby
He told me he got kicked on the hip after he felt his calf. I don’t know how bad it is.


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