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Arteta expects courage in all his players

Europa League: Olympiacos v Arsenal, Live BT Sport 2 (KO 8.0)

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Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has challenged his players to rise above the heated atmosphere expected to greet the Gunners when they take on Olympiacos tonight.

Arteta will be keen for his side to put themselves into a strong position to continue their Europa League quest with victory in the opening leg of their round of 32 clash against the Greek champions-elect in Athens.

The sold-out Karaiskakis Stadium is often a difficult place for opposing players and, with Arsenal's side containing a number of youngsters, the evening will be a stern test of their resolve.

Arteta is confident his younger players can handle it and wants to see the same reaction regardless of their experience to date.

"It is part of the process," he said.

"You don't know until you expose them. They can have the best intention but they need to go to a stadium like here and when they make a mistake or a bad decision, have the courage to try again and play again.

"And I want to see that in my players, whether they are 17 or 35. That's what I expect from them. If they keep trying, they have my full support.

"If they hide after that, I don't like it. But what I've seen up to now, every time they play on that field they are responding really, really well. That's what I am hoping and I am sure they will do it tomorrow."

While squad rotation in the Europa League has been the order of the day under previous managers Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery, Arteta suggested he may take a different approach.

Arsenal lost to London rivals Chelsea in the final last year and may need to win the competition this time around to return to the Champions League, given they currently sit 10th in the Premier League.


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