Carl Jenkinson says Arsenal can take real confidence from Saturday’s ‘deserved’ victory over Aston Villa as they prepare for next weekend’s North London derby.
Returning to the starting line-up following his red card at Sunderland, the right-back put in an energetic shift in place of the injured Bacary Sagna before celebrating Santi Cazorla’s winner from the bench like the full-time Gooner that he is.
Speaking after the game, the 21-year-old admitted that he was worried his teammates might run out of time before stressing the importance of securing three points as the chase for a Champions League place hots up.
“We haven’t had the rub of the green of late, and when we went to 80 minutes at 1-1 I did fear we wouldn’t get that goal,” Jenkinson told Arsenal Player.
“The way we were playing and the [number of] chances we created, it would have been criminal if we didn’t win the game but football doesn’t always go the way it should. But we got the goal we deserved and I am delighted with it.
“In the league our form has been good, but other results haven’t been what we wanted. Sometimes that happens in football and we had to react.
“We are going into a huge game next Sunday and it is nice to get a good result going into that. Hopefully it will give us the belief and confidence we need to go there and win.
“You want to play in all the big games and it doesn’t get much bigger than playing Spurs. I just hope we can go there and play the way we can play and get the result I know we are capable of.”
One of the reasons Arsenal can take confidence ahead of a showdown with the Spuds on Sunday is the form of Santi Cazorla. Having bagged the winner a couple of weeks ago at the Stadium of Light the little Spaniard’s brace versus Villa took him to 11 goals for the season, making him joint top scorer with Theo Walcott in the league.
Reflecting on the midfielder’s impressive first season Per Mertesacker lavished praise on his pint-size teammate.
“You see he takes his chances with his technique and his feeling,” the BFG told Arsenal Player.
“He is the perfect footballer. He has the technique to score goals and that’s what we need after losing the last two home games.”
Turning attention to beating Spurs again, the German continued, “The last two home games against Tottenham were absolutely fantastic. We try to keep that in our mind and want to achieve the same things, to score goals.
“If we play our game properly, we can compete with every team in the Premier League. That’s what we need next Sunday.”