Toure reveals Hull fear factor

Gunners defender eager for Porto lift

Toure: Hull horror

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Kolo Toure has claimed the prospect of facing Hull left him more 'scared' than a meeting with Manchester United.

The Tigers produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Premier League as they defeated Arsenal 2-1 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admitted the setback left him feeling physically sick, while captain William Gallas claimed his team-mates underestimated the top-flight newcomers.

But Ivory Coast international Toure feels that matches against less well-known opposition can be more intimidating than meeting the Premier League's big guns.

Scared

The centre-back said: "I was scared to play the game.

"Sometimes people, not the players, play the game before it's started and that's a problem because there are no small teams in the Premiership.

"Against Man United everybody thinks it's going to be a tight game but when you play against Hull it's harder because you are expected to win and score in the first minute.

"But it doesn't happen like that. I was scared against Hull because there are no easy games. We are professional players and when we go out we want to play well and win."

Arsenal are hoping for an emphatic response to one of the most embarrassing defeats of Wenger's 12-year reign when they resume their UEFA Champions League campaign against Porto.

A competitive group which also includes Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev leaves little margin for error but Toure is grateful for the early chance for his team to redeem themselves by displaying their character.

Reaction

"We can't just think about Hull. It's true we lost and didn't play well," he said. "But we didn't play very well against Fulham and then we came back well in the next game when we beat Twente in the Champions League (qualifiers).

"For a team like Arsenal it's always good to have a good reaction. Any team can fall down but it's about how they react to defeat that matters.

"Tomorrow is a really good test and we will see if we can show another face. We are lucky we can play a match so soon after that and change everything in the minds of our fans.

"We want to show everyone we are still a good side. The manager, like everyone at the club, was very upset after Hull. If you want to be champions you need to win every game, especially when you play at home. We didn't perform well.

"We're professional and we know that when we play for Arsenal we can't afford to lose like that. The manager didn't have to say anything to us but he still had a few words. Every player was very sad and disappointed."