Almunia eyes derby joy

Image: Almunia: Eyes derby joy

Manuel Almunia believes success over Spurs can lift the team's spirits after their Champions League exit.

Spaniard looking to get better of north London rivals

Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia believes success over arch-rivals Tottenham can lift the team's spirits following their UEFA Champions League exit. The Gunners have the weekend off due to the semi-finals of the FA Cup before taking on Spurs at White Hart Lane next Wednesday. Arsenal have an imperious Premier League record against Spurs having gone 20 league games without defeat since their 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane in 1999. Arsene Wenger's men come into the game on the back of their Champions League exit to Barcelona where Lionel Messi's magical four-goal haul secured a 6-3 aggregate success for the Catalan giants. Almunia admits his team-mates are hurting, but with title success still on the horizon for Arsenal he believes they must focus on finishing their campaign on a high note.

Focus

"We are down and disappointed but we have to accept that Barcelona were better than us in both legs," explained the Spanish shot-stopper. "Now we must focus on winning the Premier League. "We are in a good place in the Premier League and we have to show big character as we have done already in big moments. "We have to believe we can still win a trophy - if not, then we should go home and forget the season. "Spurs are playing for a Champions League place and it will be a very tough game. "No matter when we play or what we are fighting for, a derby match is special. "Everybody has played at Tottenham's stadium and we won't be surprised by the hostility. "It is a completely different game against Spurs and I think we will be okay for that match. "We have played against them many times, so we know their football and support."

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