Joe Montemurro will be hoping to lift our first trophy of the season on Saturday when we face Manchester City in the Continental League Cup final.
The competition holds a special place in the heart of our manager, as it’s where he secured his first piece of silverware with the club, just four months after being appointed in November 2017.
“We’re a very different team compared to last year,” Montemurro told Arsenal Player. “At that time we were just growing and developing as a team and I’d been able to instil a little bit of an idea and a style over the space of a few months, so it was just a great day for us.
“They worked really, really hard and it was like a reward for us. It was a good entry into the success that we’re having this year, so it was a good occasion.
“As for this year, It’s been a good one in terms of timing and I like the tournament because it gives us a good lead into the league because we’ve obviously played a couple of games before the season starts and then you can start managing the group as you go on.
“Then you get to the knockout stage which is always exciting, so I think it’s been a good one. We’ve had some tough games against Birmingham and Manchester United, but that’s cup football. You’ve just got to be up for it on the day.”
Saturday’s clash will of course be a repeat of last year’s final, when we ran out 1-0 winners at Adams Park - but Montemurro is more than aware of the drama that a final can produce.
“Finals football is decided on the day, let’s be honest,” he said. “I think the hardest part is getting there and once you’re there it’s a big one.
“We’re in a situation where obviously the focus is the league, but you want to win trophies along the way. They’re an important part of us being the team that we want to be and it’s very, very important that we compete well in every competition.
“At the moment Manchester City are the best team. They’re on top of the ladder and they’re doing very well in the league and also in the other cup tournaments.
“They’ve got pace up top in Nikita Parris and they’ve got some players in midfield that can really hurt you too, so at the moment they’re in form, they’re doing well and they drew with Chelsea last week in the league, so they’re the in-form team. We’re up for a big one.”
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