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Emery reckons Arsenal are ‘getting there’

Unai Emery has defended his record as Arsenal manager and insists his side are ‘getting there’ as they bid to challenge for major honours.

The Gunners manager has come under criticism following the club’s disappointing defeat at Sheffield United on Monday night, a result which saw Emery’s side slip out of the Premier League‘s top four.

The Spaniard’s debut season saw Arsenal miss out on Champions League football for a third consecutive season, once again finishing outside of the top four and losing the Europa League final to Chelsea in May.

Despite significant investment this summer many have questioned whether the club have shown any sign of improvement during Emery’s tenure, but ahead of their return to European action against Vitoria on Thursday night, the 47-year-old insists his side are on the right track.

“We have time and we have very young players, who we are giving confidence and minutes in the Premier League to adapt to the rhythm we want,” Emery told the media ahead of Arsenal’s third Europa League tie.

“We are getting there but we can do better. I know we need to win, we need to achieve our targets.

“And then how we can play better and then how we can show and transmit to our supporters all they want to see in our team.

“Last year we did not achieve, we were in the table by one point and in the Europa League final and we lost in the end. And OK, we were there. And this year – (we need to) be there and take it.”

“OK we lost and it was a bad moment. 24 hours after I have struggled with the same feelings, but that is normal. That is my life. I don’t want that.

“I have one friend says to me, ‘go to train your town team Hondarribia and you don’t have that problem’.

“But I know this is my work. And also my work is to analyse, to respond the supporters. They are also waiting to see our strategy on how we can improve.

“We are playing for our supporters and my message is that we are going to carry on with patience.”

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