March 4, 2018 / 5:37 PM / 13 days ago

Soccer: Wenger confident he is still the man for Arsenal

BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he remains the right man to turn things around at the London club despite watching his side slip to a fourth successive defeat in all competitions at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - March 4, 2018 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

The 2-1 loss on the south coast was Arsenal’s eighth defeat in 14 games in all competitions since the turn of the year and they are now 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Yet even with some of his own fans calling for the Frenchman to step down at the Amex Stadium, Wenger remained confident in his own ability to reverse their slump.

“Yes (I can turn things around), because I have done it before,” Wenger said. “It is not the first time I have lost so many games in row. I believe I can do it.

“At the moment my future is not my main worry. It’s about Arsenal winning games, then we’ll see where we go from there. “I will do my best as long as I’m here.”

Wenger also pointed to a demanding fixture schedule as a reason for their struggles with the club having played Manchester City in the league on Thursday, days after losing to the same club in the League Cup final at Wembley.

“We have to recover physically first,” he said. “The programme we have at the moment is a bit too demanding.

“I can understand the (fans’) frustration. The League Cup situated in the middle of the season is always difficult when you don’t win it. It brings a lot of negativity. On top of that the game rearranged on Thursday night didn’t help us to compete today.”

With a top four spot so far out of reach, the Europa League may represent Arsenal’s best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Winning that competition, however, seems like a tall order, with in-form Italian side AC Milan up next for Arsenal in the round of 16.

“We have to be realistic in the Champions League (finishing in the top four spots), we need two teams to collapse,” Wenger added.

“I can’t see that happening at the moment because two teams (above us) dropping points is difficult to imagine. Of course the Europa League is very important.”

Editing by Toby Davis

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