Emery aims to restore Gunners' confidence

LONDON • Arsenal must be optimistic and recover their confidence ahead of today's trip to Leicester after losing three of their last four Premier League games, manager Unai Emery said on Friday.

They suffered a surprise 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace last weekend before a 3-1 defeat at Wolves on Wednesday to leave the Gunners fifth in the table, a point behind Chelsea (67 points) in the final Champions League qualification spot with three games left.

Emery conceded he has had to lift his squad before heading to the King Power Stadium today.

"The first target is to recover our confidence," he said at his pre-match press conference.

"We can build on this confidence each minute, each hour, each day, each week - and above all we're training and we're looking for a big performance for the three points."

Arsenal, who play Valencia in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, have been impressive at home this season. But their away form has been poor, with only six wins in 17.

"If we think negatively with the last two matches, we can't think positively about the (away) games we won against Napoli and Watford," added Emery of the matches before their two defeats. "Each match is a new history, a new test."

After Leicester, Arsenal host Brighton before finishing the season with a trip to Burnley on May 12 as they seek to qualify for the Champions League after a two-year absence.

Arsenal top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with 19 goals, could be back today after missing the Wolves game with a sinus issue.

Emery also praised Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers, who has overseen a turnaround since his appointment in late February - 13 points from four wins, one draw and two losses.

Before his arrival, in the same number of games, they managed only one win, one draw and five defeats.

"This coach has given them a new idea, a new energy and a new style," said Emery. "He hasn't changed the players a lot but used a different system. He's doing important things in the set pieces. They feel good now with confidence."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 28, 2019, with the headline 'Emery aims to restore Gunners' confidence'. Print Edition | Subscribe