Despite a tough first half to their league campaign, Arsenal Under-18s are still very much alive and kicking in the FA Youth Cup.
The Gunners travel to Peterborough United on Monday in the fourth round of the competition after they beat Torquay United 5-0 at the start of December.
German defender Leander Siemann, who has featured prominently for Carl Laraman's side this season, is looking forward to the tie and thinks a cup run could provide a welcome distraction.
"We played really well in the Torqauy game and it was a convincing win for us," he told Arsenal.com. "But it's only the first round, we want to go further and try to win it this year.
Our coaches are always telling us that this year we could have a real go at the Youth Cup. If we play to our potential I'm sure we can win on MondayLeander Siemann
"I've heard from some of our coaches who have been down there to watch them that they are a tough team to play against, which is not surprising because they beat Hull City. In England you will always get a tough, physical game away from home."
The under-18s have won just one league game so far but while Siemann believes there are a lot of improvements to be made, he insists that luck hasn't been on the Gunners' side.
"In some games we've been unlucky," he said. "Especially in our last game against Norwich, we created a lot of chances but we just couldn't score. I think on both the attacking and the defensive side we can improve.
"We've been giving some silly goals away on set pieces. But there is still plenty of time for us to climb the table.
"Our coaches are always telling us that this year we could have a real go at the Youth Cup. If we play to our potential I'm sure we can win on Monday."
The 18-year-old has started 11 games for Laraman's team this campaign and his versatility has allowed him to play at both full-back and in his natural position at the heart of the defence.
"I started off playing full-back but in the last few months I've had the chance to play centre back and I prefer it because you can see the game better and I get more of the ball,” he said.
"I've played a lot games this year which is really important for me because I missed the second half of last season due to injury."
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