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First Team

"Performances don’t lie, results can lie"

Thomas Frank looks ahead to Arsenal

19 February 2022

Thomas Frank met the media to preview today's trip to Arsenal. Victory would see us complete only our second ever double over The Gunners in a league season following our incredible opening night win. Watch and read Thomas's thoughts ahead of the game below. 

Storm Eunice and preparations …

We have a nice, open training ground and it’s been quite windy. It was impossible to do offensive and defensive set pieces today so we will do a walk-through tomorrow when we meet. I had a tactical session with some free play yesterday, so we got some bits in. [Today] we did prep, some boxes, and some small-sided games to get it going. Suddenly, one of the goals was moving so after round six I cut it and we went in.

Team News …

Ivan Toney has done some light sessions and we will assess him in the morning to see how close he is. He’s a player we would really like in our team, or at least in our squad. We will see tomorrow.

Christian Eriksen looked good in the 60 minutes he played [on Monday] and looked good in training. He feels well and is in a good place. He’s been out for seven months and normally you need a proper pre-season to get it going. He came to us with a good foundation, so he doesn’t need six weeks, but this Arsenal game is just one step too early. We have another good opponent for a friendly game on Monday. We are aiming for the Newcastle game.

Josh Dasilva is in a good place physically. Now it is for him to put in consistent performances. He is pretty close to showing the level and talent he has. I have no doubt that he is one of our most important players if he can hit his level going forward. He needs to show that week in, week out, in the Premier League but he has all the abilities to do that. I can’t wait for me to decide to let him start. Hopefully, that will be soon.

Mood in the camp …  

We have a very good group of players, a lot of whom have been here for a few years so know what we do and the environment we try to create. I am quite consistent in my messages, day in and day out. In general, being consistent in your behaviour is key. Performances don’t lie, results can lie. I would have been much more worried if the performances had been bad because it is much more difficult to twist that narrative as the players feel it themselves.

Facing up to Arsenal …

After a little bit of a tough start to the season for various reasons, they have done unbelievably well. They are indeed fighting for a top four and are in good form. Arsenal want to do everything they can to prove it was a slip from them against us, we need to do everything we can to perform well and to try to get three points. We believe that we can do that in every game. If we continue to put the consistent performances out there, then hopefully the margins drop for us, and we could make a remarkable win.

We need to defend well in a low block, when we have to, and there will be spells where we will have to defend with our lives. I hope we are brave to play a bit more in spells. Arsenal have changed a few bits in the way they build up. In that way we need to change small bits.

Looking from the outside their performances look more consistent and their culture looks stronger and stronger. They are a team that works harder for each other and that is paying off. They are playing their younger, top talents, who are growing because they are playing with the right players around them. Everything is building and growing in the right direction. They have consistency in their performances which means a lot when it comes to getting points and competing for the top four.

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