Sunday 19 October 2014 15:59, UK
As Arsenal prepare for their next UEFA Champions League outing, Nacho Monreal says they cannot let injuries become a distraction.
The Spanish defender was switched from his usual left-back berth to centre-half for a 2-2 draw with Hull City on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger has been forced to shuffle his pack after seeing a number of senior stars head for the treatment room.
Laurent Koscielny, Mathieu Debuchy, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Serge Gnabry and Yaya Sanogo are all out of action, while Aaron Ramsey has only recently returned to fitness and Theo Walcott is not yet ready for a competitive return.
Monreal admits the situation is far from ideal but, ahead of a trip to Anderlecht on Wednesday, believes Arsenal boast the strength in depth to ensure that absentees do not become ‘an excuse’.
He said: “The Champions League is THE competition for club teams.
“Injuries are a handicap to us but if we do want to go through we are going to need everyone playing at the top of their game.
“We will not use injuries as an excuse. The squad is 24 or 25 players and the rest of the squad has to come in and maintain our level. We won’t use it as an excuse.
“I haven’t played much as a central defender, I’m naturally more of a left-back, but if the manager wants me to play there, I would do my best.
“Injuries affect all teams but we have had some bad luck. Many of our important players are out and that obviously has an impact.”