Jonas Eidevall believes our "phenomenal" supporters will drive us on to victory in Sunday's Conti Cup final against Chelsea.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Eidevall credited the atmosphere our Gooners created last weekend against Chelsea and hopes for the same at Selhurst Park: "Our supporters have been phenomenal. They're loud. They're passionate. They give everything for the team.
"Our team wants to do everything in our power to give that back to the supporters. So I hope they come in large numbers. I hope they are as loud as always and as passionate about the game as we are and let's do our very best to achieve this thing together.
"I think we were dominant on the pitch [last weekend against Chelsea] but I think it was even more noticeable off the pitch in the crowd because I could only hear one side and that was ours."
The boss is optimistic going into Sunday's final, which provides a perfect opportunity to bounce back following last week's defeat in the FA Cup fifth round.
“I think we’ve been practising very well. We saw things [on Sunday] that we did well, but also things that we need to do better and we've been working hard into trying to make them better. So there's been very good application in training."
Despite a number of promising and near-dominant performances across February, a lack of goals has been the Achilles heel for our Gunners. However, Eidevall wants to ensure that the team's focus does not suddenly switch to addressing that issue, neglecting other aspects of the game in the process.
"I think in football, the easiest thing to do is to say, 'We have one problem in the last game, so now we focus 100% of our time on that.' Then I'll tell you something: inevitably, something else will become the problem. We need to work on everything. It's a whole. It's not only about executing chances; it's still about creating chances. It's still about defending, it's still about pressing, it's still about building up. Everything is connected in football.
"So that's 80% of our work. We always have to look at the connectivity across all the phases. But then, 20% of our time can be spent on asking ‘Are we making sure every time we have a drill that we have a goal in place in the penalty area? Are we encouraging players to finish so we make that a habit?’ Of course, we’ve put a little bit more emphasis on that. But that's the only thing - no big changes.
"It’s not about focusing on problems, it's about focusing on possibilities. I think there were some really good elements in the game last Sunday. There are also things we can work on, like getting even better use out of the players that we have on the pitch and their strengths. That's what we, as a team, need to utilise more often and that's what I'm thinking about. That's what can make us better for the future."
Sunday could spell the end of our four-year pursuit of a trophy, yet Eidevall doesn't feel the historic weight of expectation to change our fortunes. The Swede is fully focused on how this year's squad can achieve success.
"From a historical perspective, I don't feel that pressure. In terms of what we want to achieve and to make the most out of the final, of course, I feel pressure with that. When it means a lot to you and you want to achieve, that will always translate to pressure. I care a lot about what we do here on Sunday. I want us to do as well as possible and to win the trophy, so of course I feel pressure but that's part of being a manager on this level.
"It's exciting. It's always exciting when you qualify to play in a final. It’s one game between us a trophy. We're going to give absolutely everything in order to win and enjoy the occasion.
"It means a lot for both the team and me. Of course, that's what we want to do, that's what we try to achieve. We want to win things. What we can control is how we do things, how we're playing, how we're behaving, and what our mindset is. That's where we need to get 100% of our focus on. If we're doing that well enough, I have so much belief that we can win this trophy."
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