Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal to maintain the high standards that have seen the Gunners record four consecutive victories, as they prepare for a trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Wenger’s side sit second in the Premier League, behind Manchester City on goal difference only, and rounded off a superb week – in which they beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League – with a 2-1 win at home to Everton on Saturday.
Wednesday, unbeaten in eight games across all competitions, are also enjoying a fine spell of form, with manager Carlos Carvalhal’s style of play earning plaudits from fans and pundits alike.
The Championship side dispatched Newcastle United in the third round, while Arsenal overcame North London rivals Tottenham thanks to Mathieu Flamini’s double, to set up a first meeting between the two clubs since May 2000 – a game in which Wednesday’s relegation from the top flight was confirmed.
Wenger is adamant that his side must be at their best to ensure progression into the quarter-finals, and is convinced that there is still much room for improvement.
“Let’s continue to work together and continue to improve,” said Wenger. “There are still many aspects to our game which we can improve and therefore let’s focus and try to be a better team.
“We need to keep the togetherness, the concentration, the humility and try to play better football game by game and try to focus on that in training as well.”
Carvalhal has revealed that he will make changes for the clash on Tuesday, with Wednesday already shorn of several key performers – with the likes of Michael Turner, Alex Lopez, Marco Matias and Modou Sougou all injured.
“We must wait on some players but we know Turner, Lopez, Matias and Sougou will not play,” the Portuguese told the official club website.
“We cannot take risks with anyone. For certain, Joe Wildsmith will play. Keiren Westwood is an amazing goalkeeper as everybody knows and Joe is a very, very talented young goalkeeper.
“I have complete confidence in Joe. When he has come into the team, he has done fantastic. He made his international debut for the England Under-20s recently and was then called into the Under-21s and that is a sign of the progress he has made.
“This is an important game and one we want to win. We have a fantastic spirit at the club and I will have 100 per cent confidence in whoever plays in this game.”