Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during an Arsenal press conference

Mikel Arteta on Thomas Partey’s return, Gabriel Jesus’ injury, Jurrien Timber and Newcastle

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media on Friday to preview this weekend’s crucial Premier League clash with Newcastle.

Arteta answered questions on several topics, including the latest Arsenal team news and how the players have responded to Wednesday night’s defeat to Porto in the Champions League.

Here is a selection of what he had to say.

On Thomas Partey:

“Let’s see, we have another session today. Obviously, he’s been out for many, many months now and we need to really nail the timing and when he has enough in the tank to compete. But I think he’s very close.”

On Gabriel Jesus and Zinchenko:

“Same with Gabby. He has done a few things and Alex is not far too.”

On Tomiyasu

“Tomiyasu is still a little bit more I think.”

On whether Timber will play this season:

“I really hope so. He’s been really well. He’s been with some players around now on the pitch. He’s going to start to do some bits with us in the next week or so. And then we have to see how that evolves, how his confidence level, his fitness level, and hopefully the answer is yes.”

On the overall injury situation:

“Obviously we have missed some big players and we still are, but you have to adapt to that. We want them back, we need them back as quickly as possible and we know the impact that those players are going to have when we have the full squad ready.”

On what the reaction has been like to Wednesday’s defeat:

“What I see is a team that can’t wait to play Porto at home now and with that result obviously we have created a fantastic night of Champions League football in front of our people under the lights when you need to beat them to go through. The task is very clear now.”

On bouncing back in the Premier League:

“That’s it. Porto has gone. We discussed it, we know the things that we did well and the things we have to improve. We want to create an atmosphere in the stadium [on Saturday] from the beginning. I ask everybody to go there tomorrow night with full energy because the team is going to need it. We are in a really good moment in the Premier League and we want to continue to be there and tomorrow’s game is vital to achieve that.”

On using the Porto defeat as motivation against Newcastle:

“What happened in another competition is there. What you can’t deny is what is in your tummy after a defeat and we have to use that in a really powerful way to be even better.”

On Newcastle 

“They are a really good team, very well coached and they have fantastic players. They have great spirit within the team and they are difficult to beat.”