Arsene Wenger has urged his squad to bounce back after a frustrating draw against Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium.
The absence of Santi Cazorla weighed heavily on Gunners’ creativity and the manager saw his attack struggle to score a goal despite carving out some promising situations.
The Frenchman has stressed the importance for his players to recover from the result and return to winning ways as his side hosts Reading for the EFL Cup tie this week.
“That’s our target,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“We have a game on Tuesday night so let’s come back to winning habits straight away. It’s [about] how you deal with disappointment and how you bounce back and I believe that the group is strong enough.
“We lost the first game here against Liverpool and after that we bounced back in a very strong way so that’s what we want to do again.”
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Arsenal had earned maximum points from the last six Premier League matches and this was the first time the North London outfit failed to register three points since their opening day defeat to Liverpool. The adamant Boro defence prevented the Gunners from earning a win but Arsene believes it was rather a lack of aggressiveness that held his boys back.
“We had 75 per cent possession but we couldn’t finish enough our combination play,” he added.
“We lacked a bit of speed and freshness in what we started, and at the end of the day it was a frustrating nil-nil.
“At least we were intelligent enough not to lose it though, because in the first half we were under threat a few times. At the end of the day we got the point, it is not enough, of course, but it is still a point.”
Arsenal held top spot despite the draw but are now displaced by Manchester City as they came from behind against Southampton to earn a draw. Wenger’s men will face many situations this season when they will struggle to get out of second gear due to the intense fixture schedule, but their ability to grind out some wins recently failed to come to the fore once again on Saturday. Time to move on and focus on Reading this Tuesday.