By Chris Harris
Strength in adversity was the key to Arsenal's resurgence at Reading, according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 19-year-old was part of the side that crashed out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford City last week, a result that earned the Club a wave of criticism.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and his team-mates had to wait six days to make amends but did so with a sparkling performance and an emphatic 5-2 win at the Madejski Stadium.
"We’ve stuck together in this hard time and we’re still sticking together to make sure we get out of this," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.
"It’s always nice to get results because at the end of the day, that’s what you need. If you’re not getting the results, people will ask questions - as they have been doing. We’ve been really united in this hard spell and the boss has been keeping us together and trusting in what we do.
"It was important for us to come here tonight and get the result. We’ve done that and now we know we’ve got a hard game coming up again [at Wigan] so we need to prepare for that one and make sure we get the right result again.
"We know the games come thick and fast [over] the Christmas period. It’s a really important period for everyone in the Premier League and if you can string together a good number of results and get points on the table, then it stands you in good stead for the run-in to the end of the season."
Oxlade-Chamberlain set the tone for Arsenal's win at Reading with a firm shot on target in the opening minutes, and his pace and trickery created space for the likes of Santi Cazorla to influence the game. Three points were the priority - but Oxlade-Chamberlain will push himself to deliver more and more.
"I want to be getting more goals and more assists, so I’m always beating myself up when like tonight, I don’t," he said. "As long as the boys are winning, that’s the main thing.
"I’ll keep plugging away and keep trying to do the right things on and off the ball. I know it’s important [to work hard] for my full back. Whenever I get the chance to play, I can guarantee I’m always going to give 100 per cent and I’ll be looking to get on the scoresheet a bit more as well.
"I’m never happy with myself," he added. "I know I’ve got quite a good shot so when an opportunity comes about and I don’t make the keeper work, I’m not a happy boy. I think that’s the best way to get the best out of me. I’m always hard on myself and push myself to do more.
"I’m sure the fans are doing that to me as well, as I’m finding out. I’m just going to keep plugging away and keep working hard in games and in training."
Watch the full interview with Alex on Arsenal Player nowCopyright 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