Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has expressed his delight at being able to quieten his critics in recent matches and has set himself a tally for the season.
The Frenchman initially struggled since his £12million move from Ligue 1 champions Montpellier in the summer and it left many wondering whether he could succeed with the Gunners.
Giroud always insisted these doubts were premature and his belief is now being backed up with improvements on the pitch, as he has taken his Arsenal tally to six goals by finding the net four times his last four games.
“I’m starting to quieten the doubters a bit. I’m feeling better and better in this team and I think you can see it,” he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“I’m trying to build an understanding with my new team-mates and we are getting to know each other more and more.
“I never give up. When I didn’t score at the beginning of the season, I stayed confident, and I always work on my mind and my game. So it’s not a surprise for me.
“But I want to play a lot of good games and to win a lot of games with my new club. I have to score and to continue.”
Remarks about Giroud since he joined Arsenal are commonly related to his size and power, with many believing he will play the role of a more traditional centre-forward in England by using his physicality to win headers and lead the line.
However, the 26-year-old insisted this was not a major part of his game and his aerial ability had little to do with him winning the Golden Boot in France last season.
Although he did admit he was getting more service in the air, which is evident in the fact that four of his six goals have come from his head – he also set himself a target to aim for at the end of the season.
“Last year, I scored 21 goals in the league and only one of them was with my head, but it’s true that I’m getting a lot more crosses here,” he added.
“I’d be happy to get between 12 and 15 goals in the league this season. I am confident about my qualities.”
Giroud’s gradual improvement has occurred in contrast to Arsenal’s gradual decline, as poor recent performances have made this the Gunners’ worst start to a season in nearly 30 years.
They will bid to get their season back on track once more on Saturday, but their opponents do not come much trickier than local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.