Unai Emery says Arsenal ‘need to win’ in their Europa League quarter-final first leg with Napoli, having struggled away from home in the knock-out stages so far.
Arsenal host the Italian side at the Emirates on Thursday night, looking to gain an advantage ahead of the second leg in Naples next week.
Emery’s side have lost the away leg in both previous rounds against BATE Borisov and Rennes respectively, before turning the tie around in the home fixture.
Arsenal will play at home in the first leg for the first time this season, and manager Emery insists a positive result is important to their chances of progression.
“In the last Europa League matches we played the first leg away and the results were not good so we needed to come back at the Emirates,” Emery told his pre-match presser.
“But this time we play the first leg at home and we know that we need to win this game.
“We were all very disappointed after we lost at Everton on Sunday because we missed a big opportunity in the Premier League.
“But after the first training session on Tuesday everybody was positive again because we remembered the bad moments earlier in the season when we were bottom of the table and when we were ten points behind Tottenham and Chelsea.
“Now we are level with those teams and everything is in our own hands.
“We have a game in hand on Chelsea to go into the top four and we are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with the possibility of winning a trophy and another chance to get into the Champions League.
“So now we are going to protect the players who are having a big criticism because we need them all in the next weeks.
“I also receive criticism but I don’t play so I can get over it.”