Graham Potter is relishing the chance to face his ‘inspiration’ Arsene Wenger on Thursday evening when his Ostersunds FK aspect tackle their best problem but, internet hosting Arsenal within the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie. 

Ostersund knocked out Galatasaray and Hertha Berlin to get this far in what’s the primary European marketing campaign of the membership’s brief historical past, however Potter is aware of that the Gunners symbolize a far larger impediment to beat.

“We respect the opposition but we want to represent ourselves in the best way that we can,” stated the 42-year-old, talking forward of the sport from Ostersund’s biathlon coaching centre, which quite sums up the priorities of this distant a part of the nation six hours north of Stockholm.

Asked concerning the criticism Wenger repeatedly receives from sections of his personal supporters, Potter praised the French supervisor for the way in which he has handled negativity. ”It’s not for me to say how Arsenal followers ought to act. He’s carried out an unbelievable quantity for English soccer. He’s up there with anybody.

“I remember playing in the 90s when we were just coming out of the European ban and it was a bit like the dark ages. He is part of the reason why English football has changed. When you talk about a human level and for him to cope with what he has and stay at the top level for so long. He’s an inspiration for me.”

It shall be essential for Ostersund to make the most of the inhospitable circumstances of Sweden’s north within the first leg, the place temperatures on the Jamtkraft Arena are anticipated to be -7C when the match kicks off, however Potter rejected the concept he may favor it to be even colder for the guests from north London. 

“No, I’m not disappointed at all. The thing you don’t want is it to be a farce. A couple of weeks ago it was minus 23 – that doesn’t suit anyone. Our advantage is an 8,000 seater stadium in the north of Sweden. Their advantage will be a slightly different stadium in a slightly bigger city.”

Potter’s quiet however mighty rise answerable for a membership who had been in Sweden’s fourth tier when he arrived in 2011 has seen him declare the Swedish Cup and end fifth within the high flight, however he says overcoming Arsenal, who’re second favourites to win the Europa League behind Atletico Madrid, can be the membership’s best second. 

“We’d by no means received a serious trophy earlier than – we received that. We had been by no means in a Europa League qualification earlier than, particularly towards an enormous crew like Galatasaray and we coped with that actually effectively.

“We had never been in the Europa League before and we coped with that, so I have complete faith in the players in terms of their ability to deal with the challenge and the opportunity. But it goes without saying, if we are successful it’s a huge moment for everybody connected with the club, not just for me.”