Yaya Sanogo is determined not to get bullied by opposing defenders now that he has started to play more regular first-team football.
The French striker made his full debut for the Club in last Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round victory against Liverpool, before starting against Bayern Munich three days later.
Sanogo was pleased with his performances, and says he used his height and strength to his advantage when leading the line.
I am a big boy too, and it was just a case of not letting them intimidate me. I didn’t let them bully me - I had to be there in the physical battleYaya Sanogo
“I didn’t know I was going to start against Liverpool until the boss announced the team before the game,” he told the official matchday programme. “It was my first start in a competitive game since I joined and I was delighted.
“I felt really good physically and gave everything I had. Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger are very tough to play against, really big and strong, so it was a good test for me.
“But I am a big boy too, and it was just a case of not letting them intimidate me. I didn’t let them bully me - I had to be there in the physical battle. The last 30 minutes were difficult physically but overall I was happy, especially as we won.”
Sanogo admits the game against Bayern was on another level, but he enjoyed testing himself in the Champions League.
“I had that shot early on and really thought it would go in, but Neuer made a great save,” he said. “I’m disappointed about the result, but there is still a second leg to be played and anything can happen.
Read the full interview with Yaya in the Sunderland programme
“I came here to gain this kind of experience and to learn from great players. I take it all in, working hard every day in training, and I’m hoping to play as much as I can.”Copyright 2016 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