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Club News

Captain's Comments - Arsenal

20 February 2015

We bring you the captain's notes from Saturday's match programme against Arsenal. Don't forget the full 84 page edition will be available around the stadium on the day of the match, priced just £3.50. 

Today we're looking to bounce back after our cup exit to Liverpool last weekend.

We're disappointed that we didn't progress because we started the game so well and got the goal that we wanted, but they reacted the stronger after it and in the second half they got the better of us, won the game and knocked us out. It was shame because it was on our own patch and we know how difficult they've had it here in the past.

We had the chances to kill the game off but at this level it's important that we finish games, particularly against opposition like Liverpool, but it's doubly important in a cup game because you don't have a second chance to put it right. It's something that we have to take on board going forward.

The boys have been working tremendously hard over the last few weeks and it shows. You can see the togetherness of the squad and the willingness to do what is being asked of us. It doesn't always pan out the way we want it; that's football and that's why we love the game, but we've been on a pretty good run and it's no coincidence on the back of the hard work the lads have been putting in.

It was good to see Pape Souare make his debut for us against Liverpool and I thought he did OK. He's had another week under his belt with the lads and is getting more comfortable around the squad so I'm looking forward to seeing him out there on the pitch again. You welcome everybody with open arms and he knows that we're here to help get the best out of him. We've seen what he has to offer and hopefully he can build on that.

My ankle injury is improving all the time, and I've been able to integrate with the boys in training this week and I hope to play some part again soon, whether that's today or when I'm needed in the coming weeks. I feel as though I'm ready; I've been working hard to get it right and I've come along way in a week, so credit to everyone that's been looking after me here.

Away from my rehab, I spent an enjoyable afternoon meeting Ben Hunt of the Brisbane Broncos as well as rugby league legends Allan Langer and Kevin Walters at the training ground this week. They're in the country for the World Club Series and to hear their perspective and understanding of football as avid supporters made me happy, and I wish them every success in their game against Wigan Warriors.

Back to today and it's a great fixture to have at this moment, particularity after the disappointment of being knocked out of the cup last week. Arsenal are in red-hot form coming here but we've been good ourselves too since the turn of the year, so it's an interesting one, and a derby game of course so hopefully we can make it a positive result for us.

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