Arteta We have to adapt to the pitch

Mikel Arteta in training before the Bodo/Glimt match

We will be heading into the unknown somewhat when we take on Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt in our third Europa League group stage match on Thursday.

They showed glimpses of their undoubted talent on their visit to the Emirates last week, before succumbing 3-0, but the return match looks set to be a whole new challenge for Mikel Arteta’s side.

It’s the club’s first-ever fixture inside the Arctic Circle and although the temperature is likely to stay above zero for the match, we will be playing on an artificial surface in the northern Norwegian city.

Bodo have an excellent record at the Aspmyra Stadion, they won 4-1 at home at the weekend in the league, but it’s their European results over the past few seasons that have really caught the eye, including a 6-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s Roma last season.

But speaking in his pre-match press conference, Arteta said the conditions cannot be used as an excuse.

“What we think about is how we are going to win the game,” he said. “That’s it. How we win every three days, in different conditions, in different contexts, in different weather, in different competitions, and that’s the only way we are approaching it.

“Even if it’s windy, or rainy or snowy, that’s not an excuse. Our focus is to win every three days and find a way to do it every time.”

The boss admitted the side haven’t been able to practise on the pitch as part of their preparations, but said the side will be able to adapt.

“Obviously, everybody is aware that there are a lot of things that are different. The speed is different, the way you can use the grass is different and we will have to adapt to it. We know that, we are here to win the game and tomorrow night for sure we are going to play on an artificial pitch.”

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