By Nick Ames

Vito Mannone believes that his current run in Arsenal’s first team is just reward for the hard work he has put into his game.

Injuries to Wojciech Szczesny and Lukas Fabianski have given the Italian 'keeper his chance this season - and the 24 year-old has not let anyone down in his five appearances to date.

He says that last season’s loan spell at Championship side Hull City, where he made 23 appearances and kept nine clean sheets, was good preparation for the challenges he is now facing.

“It was a good lesson to go out on loan and perhaps learn things the hard way,” he told the Official Matchday Programme.

“Nothing was given easily to me. I’ve worked hard, and I thought I did enough last season for something to happen - whether at this Club or another. When you do the maximum you can in training and on the football pitch, you feel that something positive must happen, and that’s how things are at the moment.”

Mannone was linked with a move away from the Club this summer, but says he could not be happier with the way in which his fortunes have turned around.

“As the boss said recently, I was ready to go and play somewhere,” he said. “I did some good work last year and think I deserved to be playing football - I couldn’t be a number three.

"Now things have changed and the boss seems happy with how I’m doing at the moment. I’m pleased to give my help to this Club again, and will do my best to become the number one.”

You can read the full interview with Vito in the matchday programme for the Olympiacos match. Click here to subscribe

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3 Oct 2012