Press conference

'Relax, be brave... and you'll play well'

For an hour at West Ham on Monday, we were scratching around for fluency and form. As Arsene Wenger used to say, we were "playing with the handbrake on".

Then everything changed.


Gabriel Martinelli was the goalscoring catalyst, Nicolas Pepe fizzed in a spectacular second and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded off a memorable nine minutes.


Freddie Ljungberg knows from his playing days how confidence can grease the wheels of a team's performance, and he hopes that this week's injection of self-belief will smooth the path to improved results.


"A win does a lot of good when you haven't had one for a long time, and the players have felt it," he said.


"It's difficult to explain [how confidence affects you] but I felt that when I was in Germany, helping Wolfsburg for a little bit as well, and it's a funny thing.


"You can see that the players do things in training, that's not a problem. Then, all of a sudden, they get very tense and they can't do it in the game situation. Then you just have to work, and try to work on them to relax and dare to be football players and be brave.


"But they were, especially in the second half [at West Ham]. They let the handbrake go and all of a sudden they played really good football."

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