Koscielny - I thrive on defensive duels

Laurent Koscielny believes he is at his very best when he is involved in a defensive duel with a striker.

The France international has been in superb form in recent weeks as Arsenal have taken 16 points out of a possible 18 in the Premier League.

 Arsene Wenger recently said the centre-back thrives when he shows authority in his game, and Koscielny says his manager is right.

“I need to have duels and win them,” he told Arsenal Player. “It's better for my game because I am more confident, I can take little risks with passes and feel better and better during the game.

“The boss is right with this. Now it's up to me to keep this all the time.

“I'm in a good position because I'm fit and I'm confident. I think every player wants to finish high up in the table. I will give everything for the squad to finish in the Champions League places.”

Koscielny has seen his season disrupted by some niggling injuries, but he feels this could actually work to his benefit in the long run.

“When you are injured, it's very difficult because you need time to be fit,” he said. “I needed to come back and play a lot of times to be fit and confident on the pitch.

“It was difficult but it's good for my career and my body. I think it can help me for the next season and for more years.”

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