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Sunderland boss Johnson: We go to Arsenal with plan to win

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson says they face Arsenal in tonight's Carabao Cup quarterfinal to win.

Johnson says his team will inevitably spend significant spells of the game without the ball against Mikel Arteta's Arsenal, and admits that their defensive discipline is going to be a key factor in the game.

"The lads have got to enjoy it and play with no fear," Johnson said.

"It'll be interesting to see when we are the underdog how we'll cope and how we'll respond to that.

"We're going to have spells without the ball and we've got to understand that. So we've got to really maximise the spells we do have on the ball and be a real team off it, have that compact shape ready to break.

"I do think we've got players that can cause any team a problem if they're in flow.

"I do genuinely think we've got good players on the ball so the challenge for us is to disrupt the opposition enough to show that.

"I don't think playing us is an easy game for anyone, but clearly the proof will be in the pudding and we'll have to see how we get on."

Johnson added: "It's an opportunity for us, I think, to enhance the football club's reputation.

"A lot can come from that, players at home and abroad might be watching and thinking - 'OK, Sunderland are doing well and I'd like to be a part of that'.

"And our fanbase can have that bit of trust in us again."


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