Unai Emery says he trusts his players to overcome BATE Borisov despite last week’s shitshow of a performance leading to a 1-0 defeat in Belarus.
Having started the first leg quite brightly, Arsenal fell into an all-too-common away day malaise on Thursday, failing to find any fluidity up front after falling behind just before half time.
Having embarrassed themselves on the outer edges of Europe, the Spaniard is expecting his players to get their act together now they are back at home.
“It was a bad result last week,” reflected Emery in his pre-game press conference.
“The team worked with our planning and we had chances to score and every chance we need to improve tomorrow.
“We need to continue with our gameplay despite the bad result. Tomorrow we must manage 90 minutes with the result to get a good result for us, but knowing that this is 1-0 we need to be very consistent.
“We also need to get into their box, find the best positions to score and be efficient. We need a big result to manage this game better, but I think we have experience and every player knows tomorrow we are playing against an organised team.
“They have big motivation after that result, and we must do the best performance and I ask our supporters because I think they can help us achieve a good performance to come back into the game.
“My confidence is if we play like we can and play together for 90 minutes, like we are doing at home, I have the confidence and trust in our players.”
Having won the Europa League three times with Sevilla, Emery knows what it takes to traverse tricky ties against tenacious underdogs, however, he also believes that the competition is getting progressively stronger, in part because Champions League is now on offer to the victors.
“The Europa League has improved a lot over the last year and now to win is very difficult,” he added.
“Last year it was Atletico Madrid and two years ago it was Manchester United. Three years ago we played Sevilla against Liverpool – and now every team wants to win this competition because it’s a title that gives the team the opportunity to play in the Champions League the next year. But every team wants that.
“Small teams have the chance to surprise in this competition too because they have a lot of experienced players with their international team, and they have showed us that they can be competitive in these two matches.
“Now we are very, very focused to give the best performance and show respect to them, but we are thinking about this round only. We are not thinking about this whole competition yet, no, no, no, we need to win tomorrow to continue our way in this competition.”