Wenger seeks strong response

Gunners boss rejects suggestions his team are a soft touch

Wenger: Seeking winning response

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Arsene Wenger is confident his Arsenal side can recover from a difficult week to secure three points at West Ham on Saturday.

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The Gunners suffered a shock 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final, first leg defeat at the hands of Championship outfit Ipswich Town in midweek.

And now the Frenchman has called on his team to deliver the goods at Upton Park as they aim to keep up with Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Wenger said: "We have belief, yes.

"We are on a good run in the Premier League, we believe in our strengths, that is why it is always important to respond strongly to disappointments."

Gap

Wenger claims he will not settle for another 'off night' against the Hammers and is aware that Arsenal could reduce the gap at the top down to two points again, as United are not in action until Sunday afternoon when they travel to Tottenham.

"We are of course sorry (for defeat at Ipswich) and we want to put things right in the second leg. We had a completely average performance," he said.

"If you play like that at West Ham you will lose. We will not play like that at West Ham and we want to win at West Ham.

"What is important for us is we go to West Ham and expect them to be up for it and for us to be prepared mentally.

"It is a Premier League game and is a derby, this season the Premier League has been very tight in every game and so we expect us to completely produce a top-level performance to win the game, that is what we want to achieve."

Soft touch

Wenger has rejected suggestions his team are a soft touch at the back although he is seeking cover at the heart of defence, with both Sebastien Squillaci and Thomas Vermaelen sidelined.

"I have seen many games where it is the Achilles heel of any team - we have to deal with that and we wanted to deal with that at Ipswich," said Wenger.

"That was the only problem we faced and they did that in a consistent way - we had 70 per cent of the ball and when you have that you want to create more than we did."

What will be the outcome in the match West Ham vs Arsenal?

  • West Ham
  • Draw
  • Arsenal