Press conference

'You have to play a derby with a different skin'

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has experienced many north London derbies as a player and as a manager, but believes this one will be different to them all for him.

It will be the first match we have played against Tottenham in front of supporters since he took charge, and he cannot wait for the experience - and insists his players know how much it means.

"It is the most special game of the season at home, for sure," he said. "It is a north London derby, and emotionally it is a different one to play and we know how much it means for our supporters as well.

"The team [know what it means] and I will make sure that they understand what it means: the history between the two clubs and where this rivalry comes from and what it means emotionally to all of our supporters. 

"You have to play this game with a slightly different skin because there is a little bit more at stake."

We come into Sunday's match on the back of three successive wins, while our rivals have been beaten twice in their past three games. So what effect - if any - will this have?

"There is a certain level of confidence when you are on a winning run that is really positive to face a big match," Arteta said. "But after, when the ball is rolling, it is a completely different context. 

"We're all just trying to compete to win the football match. It won't be any different from them and both teams are going to try and win regardless because they have the necessity. We know what it means for us, this game

"We are playing at home, we will have our people behind us and they will create an incredible climate that you have to be able to enjoy and make the most of it."

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