Djourou keen to avert disaster
Johan Djourou admits it would be a 'disaster' if Arsenal failed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 25/11/10 9:24am
Johan Djourou admits it would be a 'disaster' if Arsenal failed to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The Gunners could have booked their safe passage into the knockout stages on Tuesday, but failed to pick up the point they needed away at Braga.
Arsene Wenger's men slipped to a 2-0 defeat in Portugal meaning they still have work to do in order to prolong their European adventure.
They now face a make-or-break contest with Partizan on 8th December, with victory required at Emirates Stadium to guarantee progression.
Djourou insists failure is not an option for the Premier League giants, but accepts that it is vital that the Gunners respond positively to a tough week which has also seen them throw away a two-goal lead to lose the North London derby to Tottenham.
"Of course if Arsenal does not go to the knockout stages it's a disaster and I think that shouldn't happen and I don't even think that we're not going to qualify," said the Swiss defender.
"We have to think positively even if Braga was negative. We have to think that we'll qualify.
"We need to bounce back from this last week which has been a bit difficult for us. We've had two defeats so now it's important to bounce back with a win. We have the quality to do that. It's just how much we want it.
"We've been together now for a long time and we know what we should do on the pitch and we're big enough to take responsibility on the pitch, of course.
"I think we are big enough to stand up for ourselves and be ready for the next game as the lucky thing in football is you can always do better the next game.
"Obviously we're very disappointed but I think the season is still long and we can still qualify even if we would have preferred to have qualified already."
The Champions League is just one of the trophies Arsenal are chasing this term and, with the club well placed in the Premier League and still in the Carling Cup, Djourou is determined to ensure that this is the season the club's five-year wait for a major honour comes to an end.
He added: "We want to win a trophy. That's the main focus of the team and we've got the quality to do it and luckily we're not too far from the top (of the league) and hopefully we can definitely win a trophy this season."