MX23RW : Wednesday, July 18 16:44:34

Ostersunds FK boss Graham Potter: 'Arsene Wenger an inspiration'

Graham Potter: 'Wenger an inspiration'
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Ostersunds FK boss Graham Potter defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal and says that he is looking forward to picking up some tips from the experienced manager.

Graham Potter has said that he is relishing the chance to come up against 'inspirational' manager Arsene Wenger when Ostersunds FK take on Arsenal in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The former Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton player has been at the helm of the Swedish club for seven years, guiding them into the knockout stages of the competition to become the last English boss standing in Europe.

Potter, who is not currently considering swapping Sweden for a return to English football, says that he has plenty of respect for Wenger and is looking forward to picking up some tips during and after Thursday night's first leg.

"I would love to [take some advice], of course. I would be a fool not to. The experiences he has had and the things he has achieved, he is an inspiration so it would be foolish of me not to, if he would be so kind," he told reporters at his pre-match presser. "It is not an easy profession and after doing it at a low level for a number of years you realise that it is a challenge, being able to sustain that for so long.

"So the ones who have done it for so long I have the utmost respect for. I think [the criticism] is part of the game, part of the noise around football. It is not for me to tell Arsenal supporters what they can and can't do and think and feel because they have every right.

"We all go into the profession knowing that is what it is, all I know is that from my perspective, I think we will look back on him and how he influenced English football and we will understand [his impact] a bit more in the future.

"When you talk about on a human level, to be able to stay at the top, to deal with the scrutiny, the setback, the pressure, the defeats, the criticism and still operate at the highest level, I have the utmost respect for him. He's an inspiration for me."

Ostersunds, who finished fifth in last season's Allsvenskan standings, saw off Galatasaray and PAOK on their way to reaching the last 32 of the competition.

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A general shot of the Europa League trophy on June 24, 2013
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