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Nov, 4, 2012

Giroud wary of Schalke threat

Olivier Giroud believes Arsenal can get their Champions League campaign back on track when they face Schalke on Wednesday, despite failing to hit their stride in recent weeks.

• Blog: Arsenal make it easy for United

Schalke produced a dominant display to record an impressive 2-0 win at the Emirates in the Gunners' last European match, which has left them fighting to progress to the next stage.

But Giroud believes the significance of the match will see Arsenal capitalise on their attacking abilities.

"We have to continue to play through the lines, to find the solutions and to keep confident about our qualities. That is what the boss has his finger on and wants us to do, to keep playing our football," Giroud told Arsenal Player. "Schalke may defend strongly and it might be difficult for us to break them down, but we must keep going and going, keep playing football and keep confident - we have to go forward. We are a team that always likes to play football, with quality passing and movement, so to just defend and not play is not Arsenal."

The 26-year-old insists Arsenal must head to Germany looking for all three points if they are a realistic chance of a top two finish.

"We want to go to Germany with the idea of winning. We want to show our mental and technical qualities," he said. "We go to Germany confident. I know that Schalke will consider Arsenal as a good team, so although they won the first leg, we know that they expect to play a hard game because we want to do better."

Arsenal were outplayed for much of their last meeting with Schalke, with the loss condemning the Gunners to a first home defeat in Europe for 45 matches and forcing Giroud to respond to claims that Arsenal failed to treat their opponents with respect.

"I don't think we underestimated Schalke in the last match, I just don't think our overall performance was good enough on the night," he said. "Schalke are experienced in the Champions League and we had seen videos of them, and we had analysed their game and their qualities. We were not surprised by their qualities and their players.

"We must give credit to Schalke for their performance on the night, but now we know what we will be up against in Germany next week. We know that we have to play very well in Germany to make sure we come back home to London with some points."

After a tough start to life in the Premier League, Giroud says he now feels settled following his summer move from Montpellier, especially after scoring his first Premier League goal at West Ham before the international break.

"I must say, I prefer English football because I have more invested in each match," he said. "You just have to be more physical and athletic in every single match. There are no easy matches in England. You have to be ready to make contact with very hard defenders each time you go on to the pitch. I was ready for this challenge and I must say that I am not surprised at what I am now experiencing."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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