Wenger 'I am happy in every department tonight'

Last updated : 22 February 2006 By Chris Parry
He said:

"We have shown character recently and I think there is something coming out. Tonight, we produced it. We were the sharper team, played well when we needed to and overall it was a very positive game.

"I am happy in every department tonight. The only regret is there was maybe room for one or two more goals - we had the chances, which we did not take and that keeps the game open in the second leg."

"We suffered in patches, but I felt one of the keys in the game was to start well. We did that and maybe that unsecured Real Madrid a bit - right from kick off we showed that we wanted to have a go."

"You have to expect Madrid will be giving everything at Highbury. I expect them to be at their best, but we have a fantastic opportunity at Highbury to qualify and I am convinced my players will give everything. We will play to win - that is the only approach we can have because to sit in against them would be a mistake, but they have to come out now and score goals, so it will be a very interesting game."

He picked out Thierry Henry for special comments following the press speculation regarding his (still unsettled as far as we can tell) future:

"I told you he would produce tonight. Overall we needed the experienced players to do well throughout the team - we needed big nights from them, and the young players have done extremely well also. I feel there is nobody who did not have an outstanding game."

"I hope the quality that our young team has shown will help persuade him to stay. It is important for this growing team [that] their leader is with them. I do not want to have to take one step back when the best player leaves.

"I hope this helps convince him he has future at the club because the young boys can produce on nights like this."