By Chris Harris
Kolo Toure admits he was wary of facing Hull City on Saturday because he knew that the newly-promoted Tigers weren't the pushovers they were billed as.
Phil Brown's side were given virtually no hope of leaving Emirates Stadium with three points but they stunned the Premier League by coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 and become only the second team to win a competitive game at Arsenal's new home.
Reflecting on the weekend's drama when he faced the press ahead of tonight's game against Porto, Toure insisted that the Arsenal players were focused against Hull but voiced his concern that the wider world had written off their opponents.
"I was scared to play that game because sometimes people play the game before the game has started and that is a problem," said Toure.
"In football there are no small teams because the Premiership is a hard competition. I know that when I play against Man United everyone is thinking 'yes it is going to be a tight game', but when you play against Hull it is much harder because everyone is expecting you to win and from the first minute they want you to score the first goal - but it is not like that.
"I don’t mean the players [expected to win easily], I think people did. I know that we were focused. When I said we were scared it's because I know that there are no easy games and there is no easy training. If you are not focused when you play against a team of Under-17s and you think you will win easy, you will struggle. I think that’s my spirit, you just need to go out there and show a great spirit on the pitch."
Toure can rest assured that the football world will not write Hull off so quickly in future. In the meantime, the Ivory Coast defender is determined to bounce back in the best way possible - by winning a trophy.
"We really want to do something this season because it's three seasons now without winning anything," he said. "We play some great football and everybody talks about us but we want to win a trophy to show the great football we play brings us some trophies. We’ll work on it."Copyright 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