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Exclusive - I'm back and aim to be better - Nabil

Posted on 20 January 2016  - 01:05

It almost went under the radar with Heung-Min Son’s fine goal and display and an excellent team performance in our Emirates FA Cup Third Round replay win at Leicester – Nabil Bentaleb is back!

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One of the outstanding performers of last season, Nabil came back from World Cup duty with Algeria to star in our 2014-15 campaign, eventually weighing in with 35 appearances in all competitions just six months after his first team breakthrough.

Academy graduate Nabil’s star was on the rise and the stage was set for 2015-16 - but the all-action midfielder has had to learn about the other side of football’s coin.

You would never have foreseen it after our final match of 2015-16, the AIA Cup in front of 90,000 fans in Sydney, but Nabil, who spoke to us then about driving forward after his memorable 2014-15 campaign, has gone almost five months between starts - August 29 until Wednesday night’s replay at the KP.

“It has been tough, of course,” said Nabil. “It’s never easy to be down but it happens in football. You get injured, you are out, the team plays well and you have to get back on your feet again and work as hard as ever.

“And that’s what I’m doing.

“I picked up a few injuries and when I came back, the team was and continues to play really well so I have to fight for my place, which is what I’m going to do.

“I’m focused on working really hard, just like I’ve been doing and hopefully everything will be on the up again.

“This is football. You have ups and downs and you have to get through it. You can never really see it coming but I will get back up and be even better.”