Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy urged his team-mates to take inspiration from their last visit to north London and show the belief needed to upset the odds against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The Seagulls came within minutes of holding Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw in the capital last month, but Duffy understands the difficulty of this weekend’s match against the Gunners, who have won nine of their previous ten matches at the Emirates.
He said, “You have to go there and believe you can win. It’s obviously a tough place to go to, and there home form is quite good there, but we have to believe.
“They’ve got a big game on the Thursday after, so you never know what the players’ mentalities are going to be like, but they’re top-level players and will be trying to impress to get in the team.
“We know they’re going to be on their game, and they’re still fighting for the top four as well, so we know it’s going to be a difficult ask.
“Something we have to take credit from is the Tottenham game, where we held them and defended well — we have to take the same game plan and mentality to Arsenal.
“We need to stay in the game and try to use our counter-attacking play to try and score goals.”
Depending on Cardiff City’s result against Crystal Palace this evening, Albion’s Premier League safety could be secured before their visit to Arsenal, but Duffy insists all their focus must remain on Sunday’s match.
“Everyone knows the importance of this weekend — we’ve got to rely on ourselves, which we’ve tried to do all season.
“We know Cardiff play before us, but we’ve got to put that to the back of our minds and focus on Arsenal. That’s what we’ve done all week and the manager will keep it like that.
“It’s been our second season in the Premier League and a lot of us will learn from this season. You have to stay at a consistent level or you will be dragged towards the wrong end of the table.
“I’m realistic though, it is only our second season and this is probably where we should be, but obviously we believe we’re better than what we’re showing and what the league table shows.
“If all goes well between now and the end of the campaign, we’ve got to learn from this season and grow on it next time, in order to not put ourselves in this situation again.”