Unai Emery says he wants only positive energy from his players as he looks to rescue a frustrating week with a big result against Manchester United at the Emirates.
Having watched his side squander a chance to beat Sp*rs in the North London derby on Sunday and then seen them self-destruct on Thursday against Rennes in the Europa League, the Spaniard is well aware his club’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League are hanging by a thread.
A win against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s in-form outfit would provide a timely welcome boost ahead of the return leg against Rennes, especially with Sp*rs losing today and the gap to third potentially slimming to a point.
“This morning I was speaking with some players,” Emery told press on Friday.
“I want the players to help me with big positive energy. One player was worse than me, more down than me, and I said to him ‘let’s speak tomorrow as you are more sad than me’.
“I want to listen to players with positive energy. I want to hear them say: ‘We can do it on Sunday.’”
Defeat tomorrow and failure to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the Europa League would cast a long, dark shadow over the rest of the season. Emery knows a tough few days lie ahead.
“Our target is to play in the Champions League and we know it is not easy,” said Emery.
“We have two possibilities even if we know it is going to be difficult. With this responsibility the players are optimists. We can come with positive spirit and do it. I want to find positive energy.”
Of the threat posed by United, who have spun a remarkable run of results together since sacking Jose Mourinho, Emery added: “We know United are doing very well. The most important is our capacity to react [to the Rennes defeat]. First, it will be mostly our supporters and stadium, creating together a big atmosphere.”