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Oct 4, 2012

Gibbs: Arsenal are ready for West Ham

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs has said Saturday's home defeat against Chelsea cast "a few doubts into the back of the minds" of his team-mates, but believes they will get back on track after Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League victory over Olympiacos.

In-form Gibbs, who has been named in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, has revealed that the home setback against the European champions shook the confidence of an Arsenal side that had been on a high following their surprisingly solid start to the season.

Gibbs hopes the Olympiacos win, which put Arsenal in a strong position to progress to the group stages of the Champions League, has refreshed the mindset of Arsene Wenger's players ahead of their tough trip to in-form West Ham on Saturday.

"It was important to bounce back after a defeat [against Chelsea]," he told Arsenal's official website. "We wanted to shake off a few doubts that we had. We certainly did that and we're back on the front foot now. This is what we have to keep doing and keep pushing on from here."

Full-back Gibbs, who has been given license to attack by Wenger in a revamped Arsenal line-up, is full of confidence after avoiding the injury setbacks that have marred his progress over the last couple of years.

"I just play the game how I think it should be played," he said. "I help the midfielders and attackers whenever I can.

"The boss is always telling me, ever since pre-season, to play high and wide and stretch the team, to let the midfielders have more room. It's part of my game as well, and I feel I play the game how I think it should be played. That's probably where that comes from.

"The fact that we have such technical midfielders and have players that can keep the ball really well is important. It allows me to push on and almost play a risky game, like any attacking team does. It's working well for us, so hopefully we can keep it going."

Gibbs believes the form of Germany international Lukas Podolski has been central to Arsenal's winning displays so far this season and was fulsome in his praise for the club's leading marksman.

"Lukas is a fantastic worker and he's a great player as well," he said. "The fact that he works so hard inspires me to work hard as well.

"He's a very important player for us, and he's producing goals, he's defending well, he's attacking well. It's a pleasure to work with him."

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