Oxlade-Chamberlain: We will not take Blackburn lightly

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in Arsenal’s Matchday Programme ahead of their fifth round FA Cup tie with Blackburn rovers this weekend, and he believes focus is necessary for victory.

The Gunners beat Swansea and then Championship side Brighton narrowly, highlighting the potential for an upset if Wenger’s side are not properly prepared.

The likes of Spurs and Liverpool fell to lower league sides in the fourth round, and after Arsenal’s embarrassing Carling Cup exit at the hands of Bradford City, Oxlade-Chamberlain has warned against complacency.

He said:

I think that’s the biggest danger in these games. As a professional you always try to remain 100 per cent focused, but there is a human element too, and sometimes you may lose concentration without even realising.

You have to try to maintain your normal levels, treat the opposition with respect, and I think we did that against Brighton in the last round. They played some good stuff, but we approached it correctly and to get through was a real show of character, especially when we saw what happened to some of the other big teams that weekend.

You never know what might happen. You always get strange results and big upsets in the FA Cup especially. When a big club takes on a lower league side, anything can happen. If you switch off at all, and the opponents are up for it, they will punish you.

We have to give the type of performance that we owe to ourselves, that the fans deserve and that the manager deserves. If we are focused on doing that I’m sure we can get through to the next round.

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