By Joe Brewin

Francis Coquelin wants to prove Arsène Wenger’s faith in him last season was justified by having an even bigger year in the Arsenal first team.

The France Under-21 international returned from a successful loan spell with Lorient last summer and went on to make 17 appearances in both midfield and defence for the Gunners.

Coquelin is vying for a start against Sunderland on Saturday and he admits the time has come for him to play a more prominent role in Wenger's side

“I am here in the first team and have been since last season,” he told Arsenal Player. “Now I want to push on and be in the starting XI.

“I just want to play as much as football as I can. Last season the manager showed faith in me and now I have to show him that he can carry on in this way, that I have the qualities to play for Arsenal.

“Every player knows what they have to do because you are always fighting to play. We have some great players and it is tough to get a place but everybody knows that you have to work hard to get in.

“This is Arsenal Football Club, it can't be easy.”

Watch the full interview with Francis on Arsenal Player now.

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18 Aug 2012