Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan insists his team-mates are not using Europe as an excuse for their Arsenal defeat.
The Potters might be top of Europa League Group E but their form has been poor immediately after European games.
That trend continued on Sunday when they followed up a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv by losing 3-1 at Emirates Stadium.
Stoke have also lost Premier League games to Sunderland and Swansea following Europa League outings, but Whelan insists that is just a coincidence.
"Because we have been beaten in the games after Europe, it is easy for everyone to say that - and it gives us an excuse," Whelan told The Sentinel.
"But the manager has made changes. He knows what the lads are like and what they have in their legs to play these games.
"If he's picking a team to go out on a Thursday and then a Sunday he knows he has a team going out to try to win the game.
"We won't be using that as an excuse. We have to hold our hands up and say, on the day, maybe the better team won. But I thought we gave a good account of ourselves."