By Declan Taylor

As a young Englishman in the Arsenal set-up, Mark Randall feels inspired by Jack Wilshere’s record-breaking appearance at Ewood Park.

Randall, 19 on Sunday, featured in the Quarter- and Semi-Finals of the Carling Cup last season and he is hoping to get the nod for the Third Round tie against Sheffield United on Wednesday.

The match represents a genuine opportunity for some of Arsenal’s young charges to make the step-up to the first team and the midfielder thinks that Jack Wilshere’s senior involvement bodes well for all the English players at the Club.

“Jack playing against Blackburn just proves that the boss will play young English players if they’re good enough,” said Randall. “Everyone talks about the number of foreigners in our team but that means nothing. If you’re good enough you’ll play, English or not.

“This is a big season for me because I’m older now. I need to get as many games as possible under my belt, in the first team especially, just to make me stronger and a better player.

“There is a buzz about it [the Carling Cup]. But at the end of the day we’re all professional, we’ve still got to work, we have to do exactly the same in any game that we play and we have to give 100 per cent in training every day.

“In a way there is [one eye on the Sheffield United tie], because it’s a big game for us. But you’ve just got to keep focused and keep working hard.”

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22 Sep 2008