Date: 16th December 2005 at 11:45am
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Graeme Souness has been under intense pressure at St James’ Park as his side struggled dreadfully at Wigan in the Carling Cup, then escaped a home defeat by Aston Villa when Gareth Barry missed an 87th minute penalty three days later, but pulled of a magnificent result against the Gunners.

Souness: ‘There has been a lot of talk recently about pressure, but when you are at a big football club, the pressure is constantly on and the players have to be able to handle that.

‘The more experience you get in football, the less you need, and while confidence is something that’s so important to football players, the better and more experienced the player, the better he handles that pressure.

‘The easy part is talking about it. The hard part is for the players to want the ball when they have misplaced the previous two or three passes, to want the ball when things in general are not going well.

‘Before the game, we wanted to win, but a draw at Arsenal wouldn’t have been such a bad result, especially the way we played,’ said striker Michael Owen, who returned from a groin injury which had sidelined him for four games to play his part. That would have given us a lot confidence, drawing and the manner in which we played as well, but to get the three points was an extra bonus.

‘When they went down to 10 men, you think you might be able to nick one, and that proved the case. But even a draw wouldn’t have been a bad result, especially the way we played. It would have given us a lot of confidence.’