'Lincoln have quality and will go up'

Lincoln City’s run to the Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals has been one of the biggest stories of this season - and Arsene Wenger is a big admirer.

The National League side frustrated the Gunners for long periods of the first half before Theo Walcott’s goal broke the deadlock.

Wenger’s side eventually ran out 5-0 winners, but the Arsenal manager spoke of his admiration for Danny Cowley’s side in his post-match press conference:

on Lincoln City…
It was difficult. They knocked Ipswich out. They knocked Brighton out. They knocked Burnley out at Burnley. You could see in the first half that they had a very direct game, but they had clarity about what they wanted to do and they did that very well. Overall I think for us it was important to be focused not to make a mistake. They had a big crowd behind them as well and they had a chance. There was a big save from Petr Cech in the first half.

on whether he would like to see Lincoln win promotion…
I watched them as well against Burnley. They have quality and I think they will come up, yes.

on what’s wrong with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…
Hamstring. I don’t know [how serious], we have to assess it. It didn’t look a big one.

on whether he’s kept the critics off his back…
You should sit in my seat for a while and then you would understand that it is an impossible job to keep everybody quiet. Ideally, I would love to. But unfortunately, practically, it is very difficult. But we try.

on whether winning the cup and finishing in the top four would make this a good season…
I’m not in that mode in my mind at all. I just focus on winning the next game always and that’s what I want to do.


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