‘You could feel the energy and belief'

Petr Cech
Petr Cech

Arsene Wenger has long emphasised just how precious a commodity confidence is at the very top level of sport.

After a difficult period, last week’s victory at Middlesbrough restored some belief to the Arsenal squad - and Petr Cech feels that played a big part in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City.

“I think the difference was the confidence we started the game with,” the goalkeeper said. “Even though we went behind, you could feel that we felt it wasn’t a problem - we had 30 minutes [to turn it around].

“In a game like Crystal Palace, I was watching it where we fell behind and suddenly it looks like the team aren’t finding the right answers to overcome the deficit. But [against City] you could feel the energy and the belief and everything was there. We need to carry that on.

“We had that at the start of the season. We overcame a lot of games where we fell behind. Sometimes you find the way to answer difficulties you face during games. Sometimes you try to find it and you don’t.

“The most important thing was the discipline of the team, and the effort - everybody stuck to the plan. It was a very difficult game against a very difficult opponent because at times they’ve been brilliant, even in this game where they lost, but we managed to find the answers.”

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