FA Cup final - Arsenal v Hull: Per Mertesacker expects to win at Wembley, but admits defeat would not be a disaster
Mertesacker insists the Gunners are ready to rise above the pressure of their best chance to end their nine-year trophy drought
Sunday 11 May 2014
Defender Per Mertesacker is in no doubt Arsenal are ready to rise above the pressure and lift the FA Cup at Wembley next weekend - but maintains it would not be a "disaster" if everything goes wrong against Hull.
The Gunners came through a nerve-shredding penalty-shoot win over holders Wigan in the semi-final, where they had trailed 1-0 with just seven minutes left before an equaliser from the 6ft 6ins German sent the tie to extra-time and then on to the lottery of spot-kicks.
While all the pre-match build up will be on Arsenal's quest to lift a first trophy since 2005, Mertesacker insists Wembley on May 17 will not make or break the squad which has already secured a top four finish in the Barclays Premier League ahead of Sunday's last match at Norwich.
Asked if the success of Arsenal's season comes down to the result of the FA Cup final, Mertesacker said: "That will be a bit too hard, but I think that would not be a disaster.
"But our expectations now are that we are going to win the cup, that is in my mind.
"I am not here to say that about whether it is a failure, it as about confidence about raising something."
Mertesacker feels Arsenal can take their momentum from four straight league wins matches after the FA Cup semi-final - which included a 3-0 victory at Hull on April 20 - back to Wembley.
He said: "We raised our confidence that much in the last couple of weeks that I think we're going to make it.
"It is a bit different (pressure) now to the semi-final, now we want to finish this season properly."
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