Arsenal manager Unai Emery says his Gunners side need to approach Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield in the Premier League with a ‘must-win’ mentality.
The Gunners are seeking to end a run of six away league games without a win and a trip to bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield is an obvious opportunity to earn three points away from the Emirates. A 2-1 win at Bournemouth on November 25 was the last time Emery’s side took three points on the road – and he wants that to be addressed at struggling Huddersfield.
Asked if Huddersfield’s own poor form meant this game was must-win, Emery replied: “Yes. We started very well away, changing our mentality, but now we need to recover this confidence, to recover this performance and the next opportunity is Saturday against Huddersfield. But it is difficult. These matches are difficult and they are playing for the possibility to continue in the Premier League.
“Their last results have not been good but with their new coach [Jan Siewert], I am sure that they are going to play with a big ambition and a big performance on Saturday. I think they have good players with a good organisation. They push a lot and I know it will be difficult. For us as well, away games have been a challenge and each match is a new challenge.”
Emery also believes the mentality of his Arsenal players needs to improve if they are to address their constant failings away from home in the Premier League. The Gunners have won four league games on the road since the Spaniard took charge last summer and have struggled away from the Emirates Stadium for some time.
With just 17 away wins out of the 50 games played since August 2016, the issue has been something Emery would have been keen to resolve when he replaced Arsene Wenger.
“Maybe both,” Emery replied when asked if poor away form was due to tactical or mental reasons. It can be… at the end, the reason we didn’t take the same balance as we have shown at home. I spoke with the players [and told them] we need to think this match is very important for us and every player needs to be ready, be focused and be thinking we need to win this match.
“Imposing ourselves from the first minute, and throughout the 90 minutes, our capacity against them – but first is the mentality. For us, tactically, is the second issue. The first is to think we need to win and after it’s how we can win this match – (in terms of) preparing tactically and individually.”
The 3-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend was the latest bout of travel sickness which saw Arsenal outplayed for much of the contest, with some supporters taking to social media to criticise the team – as well as Emery’s tactics. A number even went as far as to call for Emery to be sacked as the 47-year-old faced the largest wave of negativity since his appointment.
He added: “I work over the criticisms of me because I know that work in the present can change our way. How we are doing at home and away, we are with the possibility and the opportunity of (finishing in) the top four.”
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