Steve Bould hopeful Arsenal are 'back on track' after Olympiakos victory


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The Independent Football

Assistant coach Steve Bould hopes Arsenal are “back on track” after last night's Champions League victory against Olympiakos.

The Gunners went into the Group B clash fresh from Saturday's disappointing home defeat to London rivals Chelsea and looked unconvincing against the Greek champions.

Bould put that down to a lack of confidence brought on by the Premier League defeat, which he hopes is out of their system having won 3-1 last night courtesy of goals from Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey.

"We've won the game, it is a great result for us," said Bould, who replaced Arsene Wenger on the touchline due to the Arsenal manager's three-match ban.

"We made it tough. They were actually, I thought, very good.

"Their organisation was excellent and they made it tough for us.

"I think we improved in the second half with the ball, but we looked a little bit nervy, I have to say, at times and overall we are delighted.

"I think it probably affected our confidence a little bit getting beaten (by Chelsea), when we felt perhaps - even though we didn't play so great - we should have got something from the game.

"Maybe there was a little bit of a carry-over, but we're hoping now that we've won that has gone, done and dusted, and we get back on track."

The three points put Arsenal in a great position to reach the knock-out stages and will provide a boost for their return to domestic action at West Ham this weekend.

It is a game that Bould hopes Per Mertesacker will return for after the Germany international became the latest Arsenal player to be struck down by illness.

"He was ill this morning," former Arsenal defender Bould said. "He has a bit of a virus I believe so that's where he is at. We're hoping he is fit for the weekend.

"I am told it is a different virus each time so I don't know if it's in-house, I've got no idea.

"We've had about four of them ill over the period of about two weeks."

Bould also had to field questions about his side's defence, which, after collecting clean sheets in Arsenal's first three games of the campaign, was last night breached for the sixth successive game.

"It was always going to be that way," Bould said. "There was only one way to go.

"We got three clean sheets and we've done okay. We haven't had an awful lot of goals against.

"The goals that have been against in the main have been set-pieces, which we're all disappointed and think we can improve. Things are looking okay."

The picture is looking less rosy for Olympiacos as they sit bottom of Group B with no points from their opening two matches.

"The truth is the result doesn't represent how Olympiacos played," said manager Leonardo Jardim.

"I thought we played well and we had three clear opportunities to score a goal."