It’s not always about the performance in games, especially when you’re up against a dogged side like Albion were on the day. They came and worked as hard as we did when we went and won at Charlton earlier this season, when we surprised the home side by grinding them down to get the victory.
That’s exactly the way West Brom played against us on Sunday, but we didn’t allow ourselves to get overrun. Instead, we showed glimpses of some very good football and plenty of resilience and it was great to come away with a result which could have gone the other way on a different day.
So you have to give the players credit for Sunday’s display, we dug in at times and got a very good result against a very hard-working team. Gary Megson said it was the best they had played this season, they raised their game against us — I don’t know what they think about coming here, whether we’re southern softies or whatever! But we showed the right character to get our seventh point from a possible nine.
That’s a very good record after losing three games on the spin. Getting that sort of a return against any Premiership teams, no matter who they are, is very pleasing and it gets us back into a nice position in seventh.
It’s a good place to be ready for a strong push over the Christmas period and there’s no bigger or better game to start that run than today.
We know it’s going to be a very difficult game, all the players have the utmost respect for Arsenal as a footballing team, they are very strong at the moment, but that doesn’t stop us giving it our all and hopefully turning over our north London rivals.
This afternoon’s game is a massive one which we all want to play in. Growing up as kids, especially myself coming from around this way, you want to take part in these matches.
People remember these games going back years and years, whether they were there to watch or were involved and today is no different.
It’s a big north London derby, whether Arsenal want to talk about it like that or not I don’t know, but for us it’s a vital match and it will be a great one to win.
Happy Christmas from us all and enjoy the game.
There was a lot madeof our last home performance, the 3-1 defeat of West Brom, but as you’d expect we were really pleased with the result.