Ospina optimistic over second place


Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Goalkeeper David Ospina has urged his Arsenal team-mates to focus on sustaining their own performance levels as they aim to capitalise on any more off days from Manchester City in the race for second place in the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners put the disappointment of the Champions League home defeat to Monaco behind them with a determined display to see off Everton 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

While the European aspirations of Arsene Wenger’s side look over for another season – baring a miracle result in Monte Carlo later this month to overturn the 3-1 deficit – a sixth win in seven league matches has pushed them back up to third in the table.

Following City’s defeat at Liverpool, Arsenal are now only four points behind the defending champions as they prepare for Wednesday night’s trip to relegation battlers QPR, where they are likely to be without midfielder Francis Coquelin because of a broken nose.

Ospina, again preferred ahead of Wojciech Szczesny, believes consistency from themselves is all that matters, rather than concerns over what form other sides may show.

“It is game after game. We know we are close to them (Man City) now, but we need to concentrate on ourselves and not think about them. We will keep doing our job, picking up points and then see what happens,” said Ospina, who made a couple of notable important saves to deny Romelu Lukaku as goals from Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky secured a morale-boosting victory.

The Colombian continued: “We were not nervous, we were sad after the Monaco result, but in football you have to pick yourselves up quickly.

“Obviously it was a tough night on Wednesday, but you have always got to bounce back and this result was a great way to show that we had done that.

“After what happened against Monaco, the only thing that was important was to win the next game to continue increasing our confidence and keeping heading up the league. Now we are already thinking about the next one, which is QPR.”

Rosicky, who came on as a late substitute to net a deflected effort in the 89th minute, is confident Arsenal can now get the Monaco debacle out of their system to regroup ahead of an FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United on Monday, March 9.

“It was difficult as we were affected by the loss to Monaco, but you go through disappointments throughout the season, you just have to fight through it,” the Czech midfielder told Arsenal Player.

“It was very important to win and for the confidence of the whole team.”

While Arsenal may well be looking very much up the table, Everton have only six points between on themselves and the drop zone after just one win from their last 11 Premier League matches.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard, however, sees no reason to hit the panic button, with the Toffees on a decent run in the Europa League, where they will face Dynamo Kiev for a place in the quarter-finals.

“Sometimes that is the way things go. We haven’t had the luck so far this season, but I am a firm believer that you just have to keep on working hard and trying to do the right things, which we are,” the American told evertontv.

“If you perform well on and off the pitch then you get the right results. We just keep working.

“Team performances have been good and if we do that against Stoke (on Wednesday) then we will get the result that we want.”

Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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