March 8, 2018 / 5:13 AM / 6 months ago

Wenger urges Arsenal to get morale-boosting Europa League win

(Reuters) - Arsenal players have lost their self-confidence after the club’s recent slump and their Europa League last-16 tie against AC Milan on Thursday provides an opportunity for the team to get a much-needed morale boost, manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Centre, St Albans, Britain - March 7, 2018 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during training Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The team have lost six of their last eight games across all competitions, including last month’s League Cup final, and are on a three-match winless streak in the Premier League, leaving them 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

The Europa League is Arsenal’s only chance to win a trophy this season and with a top-four league finish looking unlikely, it could also be the club’s only route to the Champions League next season.

“These players want to win, but in life you forget quickly how good you are,” Wenger told reporters. “When we have a bad week players change their mind about their qualities.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Arsenal Press Conference - San Siro, Milan, Italy - March 7, 2018 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the press conference REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

“We have not to forget we have good players. We are a bit affected by what happened.

“This is an opportunity we have to take. There is increased pressure on this competition even more. It’s certainly difficult when we go through a patch like this.”

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny echoed his manager’s sentiments.

“When you have bad results, it’s always bad for the team,” Koscielny said. “We are disappointed with how we have played.

“We are in a negative spiral and it’s difficult to go out of this. We have to be positive to have a good result and step by step we will come back stronger.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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