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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 31 January 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton looks ahead to the challenge presented by Arsenal in the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup semi-final tonight...

Chris Hughton looks ahead to the challenge presented by Arsenal in the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup semi-final tonight...WE NOW ENTER the first part of an exciting week for us, with Arsenal tonight in the Carling Cup semi-final followed by the visit of Manchester United to the Lane on Sunday. For players, these are the games you want to play in, to take on Arsenal one step away from the Carling Cup final and then going head to head with the league leaders a few days later.

They are games where you don't need to inspire or motivate players - it all takes care of itself. What will have given the players confidence was our performance at the weekend, although we were disappointed and down after the 2-2 draw against Arsenal last Wednesday. The good thing, however, about playing so many games at the moment is that you can quickly put things right.

We are on the back of a good display against Southend and there is a real spring in the step of the players - it has given us a lift going into tonight's game.

We know that unless it gets to 2-2 it is a game we are going to have to win outright, hopefully within 90 minutes, if not 120. We are going there thinking only about winning, it is always a difficult task there, but it can be done.

We are capable of beating any team on our day. We are not quite sure what their team will be and they may be lifted by a couple of surprise inclusions who were absent from the first leg, but it is all there to play for.

It would be a wonderful place to go and get a victory that would take us to the final. They have yet to lose at their new home, there are teams that have come close, but Arsenal have shown enough tempo and quality in their game to come back into games.

They are that type of side and they have elements of their game that we have to be better at. We are very capable of scoring goals and we have players in good form at the moment - probably none moreso that Aaron, who was fabulous on Saturday.