Arsenal must stop making silly mistakes – Pepe
The Ivorian forward has urged his team-mates to tighten up and stop dropping points as they continue to aim for a European spot this season
Nicolas Pepe is ready to make up for past mistakes when Arsenal host Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium.
Back in October at Bramall Lane, Pepe missed a sitter that could have put the Gunners ahead but they eventually bowed to a 1-0 loss.
The 24-year-old summer-signing is gradually finding his feet in the Premier League with three goals in 16 outings this term and he believes they can secure their third win under Mikel Arteta on Saturday.
“It’s going to be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Looking ahead, our sole focus is on getting a win in our home game against Sheffield United, and in general we have to stop dropping points and making silly mistakes,” Pepe told Sky Sports.
“I missed a very good chance when we played them earlier in the season, but I’ve managed to score other opportunities that I’ve had.
“It’s not something I’ve thought about since then – on the day, it was a chance that would’ve given us a 1-0 lead, but I’ve put it to the back of my mind.
“All players miss opportunities, but I know the goals will come – that’s part of football. I’m ready to put it right in the match on Saturday.”
Arsenal are tenth in the league table, 11 points adrift of a Champions League finish, but the Ivorian forward believes he can do much more to help the club’s ambition for European football.
“I’ve done OK, but I can certainly do more. In fact, I must do more, and that is certainly something I will be looking to improve on during the second half of the season,” he continued.
“The hardest period so far for me was when the team went through a difficult spell when we weren’t managing to win a game.
“We worked hard as a team throughout this time and we finally managed to get that victory at West Ham last month, which was an important moment for us and the fans.”
Arteta has lost just one of his first five games since he took over on a permanent basis in December.
Pepe disclosed the defensive instructions the Spaniard has given the team and what the former Manchester City coach requires of him in games.
“The manager has stressed the importance of defending well as a team, and making interceptions when our opponents are trying to attack,” he added.
“He’s shown that he has real confidence in me, and he knows exactly what I’m capable of. In terms of working on my own game, he wants me to get into one-on-one situations, get crosses in, score goals and get assists, of course.”
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