What Sokratis said ahead of Arsenal’s crunch game with Man City

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Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Getty Images

Greece and Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has said that the club’s disappointing season can turn around and “explode” into life if the Gunners can beat reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

The North London club have endured a terrible season and a poor run of results. This has led to the sack of Spanish manager Unai Emery last month with Freddie Ljungberg installed as interim head coach as the search for a full-time successor continues.

Arsenal have won just one of their last 11 games in all competitions and had to battle from two goals behind to earn a 2-2 Europa League draw at Standard Liege on Thursday night. In addition, the Gunners have now failed to keep a clean sheet in 13 successive matches. Arsenal currently sit ninth in the table.

Ahead of the crunch game against Man City on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates, the Greece defender has called on his team-mates to ensure they win the game and kick start their season. Sokratis also urged his team-mates to do the “dirty work” to get a result.

According to the Arsenal defender, facing Pep Guardiola’s side will be difficult after they were recently beaten by Manchester United but the match is a must-win for the club. Sokratis, however, feels confidence is starting to return to the team after defeating West Ham last weekend and can be bolstered once again on Sunday.

He told reporters: “Of course, it is a very difficult game. Sometimes, these are games where you can explode. We need one good game in our home to explode.

“I think we need one good game in our home to explode and I hope we will have that on Sunday.

“But, first of all, we have to run altogether, try to help each other and intensity is the most important thing in football, of course, you have to have quality but to show the quality you have to first show intensity, win the duels, be tactically-organised.

“I think now the manager tries to explain what he likes from us and I think he gave a lot of attention to the organisation and we work very hard until now. I hope things in the future are going to be better.”

He added: “You have to have quality but to show the quality you have to first show intensity, win the duels, be organised.

“The team has quality, but to show the quality you have to do the dirty work. If you do the dirty work and you’re organised, you can win. But first of all, you have to work on intensity, pace, and organisation.”

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