Gibbs enjoying extended run
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs is keeping everything crossed his fitness will hold this season he looks to take his game to another level.
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The 23-year-old has been through the wars these past few campaigns, twice suffering a broken metatarsal and then last year needing hernia surgery which sidelined him for the best part of two months.
However, the England international has so far managed to keep clear of any major injury worries for an extended run in the first team ahead of Brazil full-back Andre Santos.
Gibbs said: "I feel my performances have been positive. I've kept fit which has been important for me - especially over the last couple of years where I struggled.
"I always said if I can get a good run of games under my belt, I can always get stronger and hopefully be more consistent - which is what I am doing at the minute."
Gibbs, though, will take no risks with his preparations during a demanding schedule, which continues in the Champions League next week with the visit of Greek side Olympiacos.
"I have still got a lot of rehab to be doing from my hernias and from injuries last season. The physios have been really good and pretty much been on top of me from day one," he said.
"They check me every day - how I am feeling and how I am recovering.
"When you play every three days, if you haven't played for a while it can take you a while to recover in between games, so I have to keep on top of that and make sure that I know not to push myself too much in between games - that will increase my risk of injury.
"So far it's going well and they have done a really good job with me."
Gibbs certainly offers the Gunners an outlet down the left, often overlapping to fire a cross into the opposition penalty box.
"The boss is always telling me, ever since pre-season, to play high and wide and stretch the team, to let the midfielders have more room," he said.
"It is part of my game as well and I feel I play the game how I think it should be played."
Arsenal opened their Group B campaign with an impressive 2-1 win in Montpellier, having come from behind.
The Gunners have faced Olympiacos in the group stages twice in the past three seasons, winning at home but losing away.
Gibbs said: "We know Olympiacos are going to be a difficult test, but we have to be ready for that test.
"We have had a good start in the Champions League with the win in Montpellier, so it is important that we are at home, we get another win and we can put ourselves on the front foot to finish top of the group."