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Wenger: Current squad is most focused

The Professor defends his committed students

By | 17th December 2012

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has alleviated concerns about his team’s commitment and focus, insisting that this is the most serious and competitive-minded group of players he has coached despite the club’s poor form this season.

The Gunners have lacked consistency in the Premier League and were eliminated in the League Cup quarterfinals on penalties by Bradford City on Tuesday.

In the aftermath of that defeat, Wenger immediately rubbished suggestions that his team should be embarrassed, arguing that they gave it their all in the heart-breaking defeat.

Ahead of this evening’s league outing against Reading, the Frenchman is confident that his squad will turn the season around as their focus supersedes that of even the club’s successful team’s in the past.

“I’ve had groups who had fantastic results [but] were less serious than these players, believe me. Players who were less focused than this team. Of course, these players are hurting,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website in the build-up to the fixture at the Madejski Stadium.

He added: “You think they don’t care and they go home and think they had a fantastic game? They do care. We prepare for games seriously.

“It was a cup game on an English December night in Bradford. You have to give Bradford credit. Unfortunately we paid the price – they knocked Wigan out as well. That shows they have something and that they are difficult to beat.”

One area where Wenger was critical moments after that loss and still remains critical is the lack of creativity, with the Gunners failing to break down a League Two opposition through half an hour of extra time.

“We put ourselves in a more difficult situation when we were 1-0 down. We got off the hook with 1-1 and we should have made the difference with 30 minutes [of extra time] to play,” the manager concluded, hoping that his men attack better against the Royals.

Last time around, that wasn’t an issue at all as the Gunners came from four goals down to beat Reading 7-5 in the previous round of the League Cup campaign that has now become history for them.

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