Interview

‘It prepares us for the big bad world out there’

Joe Willock rounded off the scoring on Wednesday night as our under-21s beat Coventry City 3-0 in their first-ever Checkatrade Trophy clash.

The League One outfit fielded a number of senior players - and Willock believes that such an experience will be crucial to his development at the club.

He spoke to Arsenal Player after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

on the team’s bright start…
I thought we did well. It’s a young side and I thought that we dealt with the pressure well, and we were clever and mature in the way that we played, and I thought that we took our chances, but we should have finished them off more at the end. It could have been four or five and we could have made a statement, but I think we did well overall.

on the team showing greater game management in the second half…
We’re young, so there’s going to be mistakes and there’s going to be things that we need to improve on, but I feel like under Freddie we’re maturing so much and we’re gaining more game management in every training session and every game, and I feel like there’s a big improvement since the start of the season.

on what the team can learn from playing against League One opposition…
Well, obviously it prepares us for the big bad world out there and it prepares us for if we want to go out on loan to League One, we know what they’re already like because we’ve played against them in this good cup, so it’s good for us. 

on whether the team are starting to show a greater understanding of Ljungberg’s philosophy…
Yeah, we’re understanding it more because it’s a different formation to what we played last season and at the start we were questioning it and battling with each other because we won the league last season, so it’s hard to understand what he wanted us to do, but now we're getting used to it it’s so much better and it’s brilliant.

on his personal goals for the remainder of the season…
Obviously i need to continue playing well, continue scoring goals and carry on working hard really. I’m obviously trying to get into Unai’s side and get into the first-team and break in, because last season I played a few games and I need to try and make my mark. If that doesn’t happen then I’ll maybe go on loan, but I’m not sure and I’ll see whatever football brings me.