Pre-Match Report

Reserves: Arsenal v Everton - Preview

Neil Banfield

By Rob Kelly

Neil Banfield has urged Arsenal Reserves to sign off a highly-promising season in style with a victory against Everton tonight.

The second string have enjoyed a superb run of form in recent months, winning six of their past seven games and delivering a number of encouraging displays along the way.

Banfield has been delighted with the progress his young players have made, and insists they will keep their foot on the gas for their final match of the 2011/12 campaign.

“This is our last game of the season and we want to continue our recent run of form,” he told “We really want to end the year on a good note.

“It has been a good season for us. The integration of the young players has been a real positive. They have played good football and defended very well, which is great to see.

“We started off the campaign well, had a little dip and then came back on the run again. It has gone that way before and it has this time as well.

“I thought the win at Swansea [in February] was very good - it was a real marker for next season. That was one of the most pleasing performances of the year and the level that we have to attain to.”

It has been three weeks since Arsenal beat Newcastle at Whitley Park, and Banfield is unsure what effect the break will have on his side against a talented Everton team at Underhill.

“We have had a few friendly games [since Newcastle] but they are not the same as Reserve matches,” he said. “I would like to see the season go on a bit longer, it is a couple of games too short at the moment.

“Everton will be a tough one. They are a Premier League side with a reputation for developing young players and I think there are one or two in this group who they really like the look of, so it will be a good, interesting last game of the season.

“I want to see a continuation of the way we have played over the course of the season. Obviously we have had a few weeks since our last game but the lads seem very focused and we will aim to keep things going right until the very end.”

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