x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Arsene Wenger calling on Arsenal to rally their season against Reading

Arsene Wenger admits there has been 'disappointment and frustration' so far this season but is asking his Arsenal side to dig deep and find strength of character starting with their game against Reading.

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger knows the season has been a "frustration" but is asking his players to dig deep and find inner strength.
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger knows the season has been a "frustration" but is asking his players to dig deep and find inner strength.

Arsene Wenger has challenged his weary Arsenal squad to look within themselves and provide a response at Reading on Monday night.

The Gunners head to Madejski Stadium in need of a confidence boost following the shock penalty shoot-out defeat at Bradford, a League Two side.

Despite their inconsistencies, Arsenal remain within striking distance of the top four of the Premier League as Sunday's results left them five points off the top four, after Tottenham's 1-0 win over Swansea City and West Brom's scoreless draw against West Ham on Sunday night.

Wenger accepts the atmosphere has been somewhat subdued at Arsenal's training base this week, but maintains it is now up to the players to show their strength of character.

"There has been disappointment and frustration, but that is normal when you go out in a competition like that," Wenger said.

"However, having said that, we can only look at ourselves, get on with it and look for the future."

Wenger, 63, says he is the right man to turn around Arsenal's fortunes despite calls for a new leadership at the club.

Kieran Gibbs, 23, the England defender, said Wenger's work in developing raw talents such as himself can never be underestimated.

"He has built a reputation for signing players for a modest fee and turning them into great players," Gibbs told www.fourfour-two.com.

"I don't think many people in England had really heard of Thomas Vermaelen before he arrived and yet he became an instant fan favourite at the club. The manager has an eye for noticing the potential in promising players."

Much has been made of the role of assistant manager Steve Bould this season after he replaced Wenger's right-hand man Pat Rice.

Gibbs said the former Arsenal centre-half has made an impact.

"Steve has his own view of the game and goes through a lot of detail after matches," Gibbs said.

"He makes sure everyone understands their unique roles and we have worked on a number of things, including how to face attackers and moving up the pitch as a unit."

Arsenal will be out to build some momentum in their Premier League campaign with victory over strugglers Reading, having beaten West Brom last weekend.

The midfielder Santi Cazorla accepts the Gunners cannot keep throwing away points.

"We haven't been consistent," the Spain international told Marca.

"There have been games where we haven't been mature enough as a team and haven't held on to the positive results. We are hoping to make up some ground.


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