O'Neill aims to add to Gunners' woes

Fri, 17 Feb 14:22:44 2012

Martin O'Neill is hoping his Sunderland side can intensify Arsenal's pain in the FA Cup on Saturday - but has warned unhappy Gunners fans that under-pressure Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager the club has ever had.

The Sunderland boss, who has crossed swords with Wenger on the touchline in the past, insists his opposite number should not be condemned for the midweek 4-0 pasting by AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The FA Cup now looks Arsenal's only chance of ending their seven-year trophy drought his season, but O'Neill believes his players can reverse the result of last weekend when the two sides met at the Stadium of Light and the visitors won 2-1. O'Neill said: "The Milan defeat has been heavy for them and I think they would admit that and that it was something they didn't expect.

"AC Milan played very, very well indeed and Arsenal on the night didn't do so. Regardless of that I think their concentration will be on the FA Cup tie as it's a competition they have won reasonably recently and believe they can win.

"AC Milan are a top-quality team and, let's face it, we are not as good as AC Milan. They are playing in the last 16 of the Champions League and that's where every single football club worth its salt is aspiring to get to and we are a long way off that.

"That doesn't mean we are not capable of winning the match, and that we don't have one or two players who can definitely cause them problems. I am just hoping that the advantages we might take into the game, such as having had an extra rest this week and playing at home, will help us."


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