By Joe Brewin
Arsenal Reserves will look to preserve their unbeaten start to the campaign when Swansea visit Underhill on Monday night.
Neil Banfield’s young Gunners have begun the season in excellent form with three victories in their opening four fixtures and currently sit joint top of the Reserve League South.
Last week saw the second string emerge victorious from a gritty encounter against Blackburn as Sanchez Watt’s second-half strike proved decisive.
Banfield admitted his team had made hard work of the 1-0 win but says he is confident they can improve against Swansea.
“I think what you get when you’re a young player is ups and downs,” the manager told Arsenal.com. “One minute you get one thing and then something else pokes its head up. As a player you have to deal with it.
“We just need a continuation of what we did last week and add to it again this time when we have the ball. I think maybe a bit more movement - crisper and quicker.
“Maybe we have to be a bit sharper and be a little bit quicker on the ball, keep our discipline, work ethic and ultimately try and move the ball quicker.
“We can take the concentration and the spirit of last week. If we can now be a bit sharper all around the pitch we can add to that performance.”
Swansea pose a fresh challenge for the Reserves this season as new entrants to the division but Banfield insists that any team guided by Brendan Rogers will pose a significant threat.
“You see Swansea with Brendan Rogers there and you know how they want to play,” he said. “It'll be a good footballing game and we will just prepare as normal. It's another game and a test to see how we are doing.
“It is always good, I think the league is much improved,” he added. “You get some good games, some tough games and that is what we are looking for for our young players.”
Nico Yennaris is set for international duty with England Under-19s this week so Sead Hajrovic will continue at right back.
Zak Ansah makes the step up from Steve Bould’s Under-18 side to start on the right side of midfield, with Ryo occupying the left flank.
Ansah is one of a handful of hopefuls from Bould’s team in the mix for the game and Banfield says it is the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at the Club’s promising stars.
“The international week gives you a chance to look at one or two players who are doing well for Bouldy and give a continuation to our good start to the season,” he said.
Follow the match with our LIVE text commentary from Underhill at 6.45pm.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source