Arteta expecting "tricky" cup tie at Oxford

Mikel Arteta in training

Having experienced the atmosphere at the Kassam Stadium before, Mikel Arteta believes that we will have to be prepared for a tough evening against Oxford United on Monday.

Mikel previously sat in the dugout at the venue in what proved to be his final act as Manchester City assistant manager back in December 2019, and so has first-hand experience of the passion that can be generated by the U’s supporters baying for a cup upset.

And he has warned his players that despite facing a side sat in the bottom half of League One, they’ll have to match the intensity of their opposite numbers on the field, as well as deal with the noise off it if they’re to progress in a competition we’re keen to lift for a record-extending 15th time.

Assessing the game, he said: “It’s always tricky. I’ve played there a few times and have experienced very difficult matches, so it will be difficult. We have to take the competition and the opponent very seriously and play well, to a high level to win the match.

“It will be difficult. From what we’ve seen they’ve played in different ways, and result-wise as well they’ve had a bit of everything. It’ll be a very special night and everybody will raise their level and it will be tough.”

The game will also be notable for us wearing an all-white kit, as part of our ongoing No More Red campaign which aims to help keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.

The strip won’t be available for sale, and can only be received by volunteering at one of our charitable partners (find out how you can get involved). The boss is pleased with the part we are playing to help tackle the issue.

“It’s great,” he added. “I think the support the club have given to the community and vice-versa, and the fact that we are constantly doing these kinds of things is very important. It helps keep a lot of people - especially young people - safe in our community.”

Read or watch the whole of Mikel’s pre-match press conference

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