Focused Vermaelen urges Wigan caution

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Thomas Vermaelen has deflected attention away from speculation about his future by underlining his hopes for regular playing time at the Emirates in the final months of the season.

The Arsenal captain, who has made only eight starts all season, played at left-back in Munich last night after a run out in the centre of defence against Everton at the weekend, on both occasions earning plaudits for his efforts.

“It is not easy, but I try to stay positive,” reflected the Belgian when asked about playing second fiddle to the regular centre-back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

“Firstly, I have been injured in the last couple of weeks, but when the boss needs me, I try to play well. I know anything can happen, so I am happy to play when he needs me. From my point of view, I hope it is as much as it can be. I work hard for the team and that is the only thing that I can do.

“There has been a lot of speculation, but I can’t talk about it because I don’t know what is going on. My focus is at Arsenal at the moment. There is still a lot to play for – I can’t do anything about rumours.”

Vermaelen also touched on the Gunners status as favourites for the FA Cup stressing that there’s no room for over-confidence in the build-up to a semi-final against cup holders Wigan.

“We are still up there in the Premier League, we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, you can feel the desire in the team that there is still something to play for.  We can’t deny that we are the favourites anymore because we are the highest Premier League team, but this is the FA Cup – there is something special about it.

“Wigan go to Man City and knock them out, we got knocked out last year by Blackburn Rovers, who play in the Championship, so we know what we have to do. We are the favourites and we have to act like that to get a good result.”

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