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Coquelin backs Giroud after weekend performance

Avoids adding "even if it was just Sunderland."

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Francis Coquelin praised his countryman's character after Olivier Giroud came on in the second half of the Gunners' away trip to Sunderland to grab a brace, which included the game winner.

Giroud has seen an extended stint on the sideline this season thanks to the form of Alexis Sanchez up top, along with a suspension and toe injury. Despite that, Coquelin told Arsenal Player that he believes Giroud's impact from the bench against the Black Cats shows he still has an important part to play in the Gunners' season.

"Oli is a strong character - every time people from outside doubt him, he always responds in a good way," he said. "It is a really strong addition to the squad [to have him back] and hopefully there are many more goals to come from him."

It's been a difficult start to the season for Giroud, but with Lucas Perez out for 6 weeks and Danny Welbeck not expected back before Christmas, his strong substitute appearance could see him back in the starting lineup as the manager looks to rotate during a busy November.