Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels it will be difficult for his team to catch league leaders Chelsea after losing at Stoke City, but has hit back at talk of the Gunners dipping in form towards the end of campaigns.
Wenger's men trail Chelsea by four points and dropped to third place in the table after Liverpool went above them on goal difference following their victory at Southampton.
The Frenchman described the loss at the Britannia Stadium as "a big worry" and "a major setback" with just 10 games left in the Premier League.
And although he has insisted he is not going to try to assess Arsenal's title prospects at this stage, when asked how difficult it will be to close the gap between them and Chelsea, Wenger said: "We cannot say it's easy.
"It is difficult, but I expected them to win at Fulham."
Wenger also said he was not worried about Arsenal's potential to bounce back.
And when it was put to him that people say Arsenal sometimes dip at this crucial point in the season, Wenger replied: "I would say look at our results at the crucial point in the season and you would be surprised.
"Somebody says something that is not checked and everyone repeats it and it becomes an opinion, even if the facts don't show it.
"Our end of season has always been very strong."