Bacary Sagna believes the north London derby win against Tottenham Hotspur at the start of September was indicative of the character in the Arsenal squad.

Olivier Giroud’s first-half strike was enough to settle a tight and highly-charged match at Emirates Stadium.

Sagna was delighted to beat Andre Villas-Boas’ team and says the team need to maintain their closeness throughout the season.

We showed some togetherness and that's what we're going to need [throughout] the whole season

“It's a symbol to win against the opponent, even more against Spurs,” Sagna told Arsenal Player. “First of all, it was a really important game for the league but even more for the fans and for us. It's a derby and we always want to win.

“We were struggling because they were pushing really high up. But we showed some great character.

“We showed some togetherness and that's what we're going to need [throughout] the whole season. We need to stick together and until now, we've done it quite well.”

Sagna was forced to start the game from the bench after being taken ill in the hours leading up to kick-off.

“On the morning of the game, I got sick,” he explained. “I woke up feeling really bad so I called the doc straight away.

“During lunch, I felt sick. I went to the kitchen and didn't finish my meal so I went back to my bed to sleep to get some power. On the way to the game, I felt sick again on the coach. I was really dehydrated and of course not ready to play.

“I wanted to try during the warm up but it was just impossible. I didn't have any power. I was really down and for this kind of game, you have to be 100 per cent.

“We have Carl Jenkinson. He's totally ready to play and he's a great player so there was no point for me to push it."

Copyright 2014 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 Nik Brumsack 13 Sep 2013