Roberto De Zerbi says he won’t compromise Albion’s playing style even as the battle for European football intensifies.
Our 3-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday lifted us into sixth place and a Europa League spot with four games of the season to go.
De Zerbi was proud of how his players stuck to their principals at the Emirates and came away with arguably their best result of a season studded with memorable performances under the Italian.
And as the stakes get even higher, he has no intention of trying to play any other way even if it means risking a defeat.
“I can decide how I lose, not how I can win, and I want to lose playing this style. I want to lose playing with this courage, trying to command the play, the game.
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“Sometimes you can lose but it’s my style and the players are with me. They believe in my idea.”
The first of those four games takes Albion to Champions League chasing Newcastle United on Thursday. Along with West Ham, Newcastle are one of Albion’s favourite Premier League opponents, having lost only once and kept eight clean sheets in 11 meetings.
De Zerbi said that his players were still basking in the glory of the 1-0 win over Manchester United when they lost to Everton last Monday, but he does not expect a repeat at St James’ Park.
“We have to forget we won at Arsenal otherwise we will lose 100% to Newcastle,” he added. “We have 58 points which is not enough to qualify for the Europa League. We have another four tough games left and we have to fight to reach our target.
“We want to become a bigger team in the future than we are now, and my job is to improve the players and to dream, and I always want to reach the impossible target and set a bigger target.”