By Giuseppe Muro

Carl Jenkinson says Arsenal must use successive clean sheets in their opening two games as a foundation on which to build a successful season.

Three days after a goalless draw with Newcastle on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, Arsène Wenger’s side beat Udinese 1-0 in the Champions League to keep their goals against column unblemished.

Another shut-out in the second leg next Wednesday will see Arsenal into the Champions League Group Stage and Jenkinson feels it is important to continue in the same defensive vein.

“Two clean sheets is very positive for us,” he said. “That is something we will look to build on because if you keep clean sheets you have got a good chance of winning games.

“We had to show them respect and we will have to show them respect next week because they are a good side. But we have won and kept a clean sheet so that is positive.

“It’s always nice to get an early goal and that got us going and got us playing. Udinese are a good side and they looked dangerous at times.”

Jenkinson replaced Johan Djourou ten minutes into the second half and fitted seamlessly into the unfamiliar position of left-back on his European debut.

Without the suspended Arsène Wenger on the touchline, Pat Rice took charge of the team and the 19-year-old defender admits it was strange without his manager in the dug-out.

“We didn’t see the boss during the game or after the game. But we had Pat Rice there and he is always full of information and is always guiding us,” he said.

“It was different but it will be nice to have the boss back!”

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17 Aug 2011