Stephens positive ahead of Gunners clash

Dale Stephens is hoping the team can take the positives from last weekend’s performance against Liverpool into this evening’s trip to Arsenal.

By Jake Ketley • 05 December 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens in action against Liverpool last weekend.

Despite the result not going Albion’s way, Stephens believes that the performance on Saturday, along with others over the course of the season, will stand them in good stead to pick up points heading into the remainder of the season.

He said, “It was frustrating to concede two goals from two set pieces. They play a big part in games these days so we are looking to improve in that department now. We did well in long spells without creating too much or conceding too much in both boxes. But overall, we can take a lot of positives.

“Results wise it’s been difficult. We gauge ourselves more by looking at our performance and improving throughout the season which we have done. I think that game on game we have got better and that’s what will see us move up the table.”


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Potter's Arsenal press conference

The midfielder is currently on four bookings for the season and would miss Sunday’s home match with Wolves should he pick up another, but Stephens admits that it won’t stop him going for any challenge that needs to be won tonight in north London. 

“It’s something that I am aware of throughout the season. I am a player that makes more tackles than most, but that comes with the territory of being a centre midfielder,” he continued. “I’ll try to make it to the deadline without getting another booking.

“I was only made aware of it towards the back end of last week. Even though I know about it now, it’s not something I’ll take into the game with me, if there is a ball to be won then I’ll obviously try to win it.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens in action against Manchester City earlier this season.

The 30-year-old then looked back at away performances from earlier in the season that he believes the team can take into this evening's game in the capital. 

“It’s a difficult task when you’re travelling away from home and Arsenal will be no different. They are one of the top teams in the country.

“Apart from the Man United performance in the last away game, we have generally performed well away from home. Man City was a good performance, and at the weekend against Liverpool, so we’re not afraid of going to these places and implementing what we want to do, and that will be the same on Thursday.

“Changing managers can galvanise a club, but we can only focus on what is in front of us, and that will be the challenge ahead no matter who their manager is. With all sides that play in this league, they are all good teams, but everyone has their weaknesses. It’s up to us to work out what they are and capitalise on them.”

Christmas cracker at the Amex!