Two days after his team lost 3-1 at the Bernabéu in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16, Unai Emery appeared before the media to look ahead to tomorrow's Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg. The Basque coach did reflect back on Wednesday's meeting with Real Madrid and expressed his unhappiness with the refereeing on the night as also explained his decision to bench Thiago Silva and Ángel Di María.
Business as usual
The Strasbourg game: “The most important thing is to make sure we prepare well for this game. We have to continue the process we are in, get back to winning ways and try to maintain our lead in the table. On top of that, we also must respect Strasbourg. Trapp, Verratti and Mbappé are all out suspended. We'll see how the others are tomorrow. We want to continue to be strong at our stadium. Hopefully it will be 11 players, plus a twelfth - the fans. And maybe even a thirteenth…”
What mistakes did PSG make against Real Madrid? “The team played a good game, football can be like that, you can be the best team side but... It wasn't the result we wanted. But I am convinced we can go through. It could have been better. We dominated play. After that, the difference is whether you can convert that into goals or not”.
Be angry, but not with each other - Emery
Were the players angry? “It's football. It's competition. They're entitled to be annoyed but as long as they respect their fellow team mates. I'm sure we'll make the next round, there's another game to get through. I assume full responsibility. My future? It's the present - I'm putting all of my energies into the present, everything else doesn't matter”.
Neymar: “He showed a lot of positive things. He can improve certain aspects which I'm sure he'll do - he will show the great player he is. Why was Cavani taken off? Yes, it was a tactical move”.
Thiago Silva on the bench: “We have a working process; I'm happy with the three centre-backs. When I decided to play Kimpembe, it was for tactical reasons. I spoke individually with all three players. Things don't suddenly change with one game. He will continue to be the captain. The same goes for Di María, who is an important player for us”.
Emery wants match official to show home bias - like Rocchi
The refereeing at the Bernabéu: “I'd like to have the same referee for the return leg - with the same criteria! I watched the Lyon vs Villarreal game and the refereeing was balanced. I want the same referee and for him to show the same bias he showed the home team! Before the penalty, there was an offside for example...”