Arsenal can cope with hectic schedule, insists coach Unai Emery

Emery's side head to Craven Cottage bidding to extend their winning streak to nine matches in all competitions.

Published: 06th October 2018 12:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2018 12:51 PM   |  A+A-

Unai Emery

Arsenal gaffer Unai Emery (File | AP)

By AFP

LONDON: Unai Emery insists Arsenal won't be allowed to use their hectic schedule as an excuse for a poor performance when they face Fulham on Sunday.

Emery's side head to Craven Cottage bidding to extend their winning streak to nine matches in all competitions.

But Arsenal will be battling fatigue after touching down in London in the early hours of Friday morning, following a 4,000km flight from Azerbaijan, where they beat Qarabag 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.

It is hardly ideal preparation for an important Premier League clash, but Emery tried to guard against burn-out by resting several players against Qarabag.

And regardless of the potential for dwindling energy levels after the gruelling European trip, the Spaniard believes his stars should be able to cope.

"For us it's not a problem to play on Thursday and then on Sunday because we want to play a lot of matches and a lot of competitions," Emery said.

"We also want to give the players the chances and opportunities to play, to give them confidence, responsibility and rhythm like today for all our players.

"The players who sometimes don't play were used against Qarabag. But then also, maybe players who featured against Qarabag can play on Sunday too.

"We can do that with some players. For us it's very important on Sunday to produce the best performance."

The Gunners should be able to use the momentum from their impressive winning run to keep them firing on all cylinders in the London derby.

Arsenal, up to fifth place after recovering from their slow start to the season, are vying to win six successive Premier League matches within a single campaign for the first time since August to October 2016.

- 'Big challenge' -

They could earn three consecutive away league victories for the first time in two years, but Emery won't be taking Fulham for granted.

"Fulham is a very big challenge for us, first because it's away and second because each match in the Premier League is very, very difficult," Emery said.

"Fulham bought very good players like Seri, like Anguissa, and they have Mitrovic and Schurrle too. It's a very good team and I think their coach is a very good coach with experience in England.

"We need to push against them on Sunday and also show our best performance. Our idea is to be focused on Sunday with all of our players."

Arsenal hope Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have recovered from illness, while Aaron Ramsey could play depending on the timing of his child's birth.

Bernd Leno will make his first Premier League start, with Petr Cech ruled out by a hamstring injury.

A Fulham defeat on Sunday would equal the club's worst start after eight top-flight matches.

They have won only one of their seven games and Slavisa Jokanovic's side hold the division's joint worst defensive record, conceding 16 goals along with Cardiff and Huddersfield.

"There's huge room for improvement. We are working to find our best formation, Jokanovic said.

"We're not at our best level, and we need to continue to work hard to reach that level. We need to be more ambitious, show more aggression, spirit, desire and intensity.

"After two hard games, Arsenal have found stability. They're a team in form, a big club and a good team. 

"We need to be motivated, and we will be ready for the battle."

Stay up to date on all the latest Football news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp