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No concerns over Arsenal mentality, says Arteta

FOOTBALL By Reuters | April 9th 2021
April 8, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta throws the ball to Hector Bellerin [REUTERS]

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he has no doubts about his team's mentality despite conceding a stoppage-time equaliser to Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday and was confident of getting the result they need to advance in the away leg.

Substitute Nicolas Pepe looked like he had scored the winner in the 86th minute but Slavia's Tomas Holes headed home shortly before the final whistle at Emirates Stadium to leave the tie poised at 1-1 heading into the second leg in Prague on April 15.

Asked if he had any worries about his side's mental strength after they failed to see the game out, Arteta said: "With my team's mentality? No, I don't have any concerns.

"I totally believe that we can go there and win the match.

"The mindset has to be to go there and score goals and win the game because we have to score if we want to go through."

Arteta made six changes from last weekend's 3-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being named among the substitutes and only brought on in the 78th minute.

When asked about his decision to drop the Gabon striker, the Spanish manager said: "It was a big decision to leave some players out but we decided to play the team who had the best chance at the start of the game.

"We try to be transparent and communicate with the players as transparent as possible, for them to understand the role of the game that they have. When he came on he showed the right attitude."

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Arsenal, who are 10th in the Premier League, travel to bottom side Sheffield United on Sunday.

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