Mikel Arteta is delighted to see the positivity and confidence return to London Colney this week ahead of our game against Leicester City.
Last weekend’s 4-2 success over Aston Villa ended a run of four games without a win in all competitions, which saw us succumb top spot in the Premier League for the first time since August in the process.
However, after coming back to win at Villa Park, returning to the division’s summit and restoring the winning feeling to the squad, Mikel hopes that the feel-good factor can help bring a positive performance against the Foxes.
Discussing the mood in the camp in his pre-match press conference, he said: “The confidence is much better, the environment around training is much better.
“The fact that the team showed the capacity to rebuild in a really adverse situation, when you are 2-1 down and you’ve played less than 72 hours before and everyone is expecting you to be tired mentally in terms of quality and belief, to come back and win the game is a really big boost for us.
“I said before the game that I had more belief in the players than before the City game and it’s for that reason, because I see how they train, how much they react, how much they care and how much they want it.”
While the win was well-received by all at the club, Mikel admitted that there has still been plenty to work on at the training ground this week after we found ourselves trailing at the break and staring down the barrel of a fourth Premier League game without success.
While he was proud that his players showed the resilience and fighting spirit necessary to dig out a win against the odds, the boss wants to see an improvement against Brendan Rodgers’ side, who he believes possess the tactical flexibility to cause problems.
“I was really complimentary to [our players], the way they reacted, but as well, there are things that in the first half we should do better,” he added. “Especially the way we played and the way we controlled the game that we cannot be 2-1 down. We have to learn those lessons quickly and hopefully we can have a more consistent performance against Leicester, because it's going to be needed to win the game.
“They've been really consistent the past few weeks in the games they've played. It's true that Brendan has proposed very different games in many different moments throughout the seasons and they have this capacity to adapt, play different formations and play in different approaches. We have prepared for both because it's possible and let's see what they do tomorrow.”
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