Sead Kolasinac urges Arsenal team-mates not to 'bury our heads in the sand'

James Benge
Evening Standard
Under fire | Arsenal have lost four straight games: Getty Images
Under fire | Arsenal have lost four straight games: Getty Images

Sead Kolasinac has warned his Arsenal team-mates that they “cannot bury our heads in the sand” as they prepare for a trip to Milan that could define their season.

The Gunners last remaining hope of silverware – and arguably of salvaging respectability for their campaign – lies in the Europa League, in which they face AC Milan in the round of 16 first leg on Thursday.

Whilst Milan go into the game in fine form and unbeaten since December 23 Arsenal travel to Italy at perhaps their lowest ebb of Arsene Wenger’s reign, four straight defeats having ended their hopes of winning the EFL Cup and in all likelihood of reaching the top four.

Kolasinac was part of the Arsenal side who suffered a humiliating 2-1 reversal at Brighton on Sunday, making a string of errors that validated Arsene Wenger’s belief that the Bosnian international is far superior as a wing-back than in the four-man defence deployed at the Amex Stadium.

That came on the back of successive 3-0 drubbings at the hands of Manchester City, results which Kolasinac claims were not entirely surprising even if there was reason to be disappointed by the nature of the performances.

“It is a difficult situation for us,” he told DAZN. “We did not play well in the two games against Manchester City.

“In some situations, we did not play bad. But honestly, we have to say that Manchester City have a phenomenal team, especially in their attack. Sometimes you have to admit that they are better or are in a better situation.

“They are first in the league with a huge gap to second. Naturally, they are playing different. But the atmosphere in our team has to be good and it is good as well, because we cannot bury our heads in the sand right now.

“On Thursday, we fly to Milan. We cannot bury our heads in the sand. We have to look forward and try to do better next time.”

Arsenal’s early year slump has been all the more dispiriting after an ambitious January transfer window that saw the Gunners reunite former Borussia Dortmund team-mates Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a redesigned attack.

Both have impressed only in fits and starts but Kolasinac says that the new signings are making their presence felt in the Arsenal dressing room.

“They settled in very well,” Kolasinac added. “They are both two outstanding guys. Not only on the pitch, but also personally.

“They are two very, very good lads. I’ve known Auba for a longer period of time, because I played against him every once in a while. Also against Mkhitaryan, but he left the Bundesliga and went to Manchester United a year ago. We know each other from playing in a few derbies.

“But the boys settled in very well and fast. I think they are comfortable. That is important. Of course they still need time to make friends and to adapt to the style of Premier League football, but they will both get this time.”

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