Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has urged his teammates to take the high of Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby into their Champion’s League clash with Montpellier on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old No1 claimed the Gunners were ‘buzzing’, boosted by their weekend win over their arch-rivals and called for the team to take that ‘buzz’ into their midweek fixture.
"We couldn't get a better time to play that game. We are buzzing today, we can't wait for the next game. We're confident,” said the Polish international.
Arsenal had suffered a dip in form since their defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United – they drew away at Schalke, squandering a 2-0 lead and then drew at home to Fulham 3-3 in their following Premier League fixture.
But the weekend’s result will have buoyed the Gunners who can’t afford to lose either of their final two Group B fixtures, against Montpellier at home on Wednesday and Olympiakos away in December.
They currently sit second in the group, just a point behind Schalke who lead the group. Should they avoid defeat in the remaining two games the Gunners will proceed to the knockout rounds.
"We've had a couple of poor results recently, but we're back on track and we're confident that we can get the three points and qualify for the knockout stages, which is the least you can ask from us.”
The young goalkeeper started his first game since August last weekend after suffering an ankle injury that had seen understudy Vito Mannone take his position between the sticks for the Gunners.
"We want to make sure we do the job properly and qualify," he added.
"I know that over the last few weeks the fans might have been frustrated, and we understand that completely. I think the team and the fans work as a unit, and they were fantastic, they helped us to get a boost before the game and helped keep us going.”
The young man thanked the fans who were clearly ecstatic with such a big victory against their old nemesis – they got the result and had the performance to go with it but keeper paid tribute to the twelfth man.
"At the final whistle there were still 60,000 people there - the only fans who left were the Tottenham fans. It was fantastic."
image: © Ronnie Macdonald