Arsene Wenger says that Wednesday night’s exploits against Borussia Dortmund were a factor in Arsenal’s performance against Fulham today but refused to use it as an excuse.
Clearly the Gunners suffered from some tired legs and despite Fulham defending very well weren’t able to reach the heights of the performance which saw them become the first English side to qualify for the knock-out stages.
At his post-game press conference, Arsene said, “We gave a lot on Wednesday night. It is the shortest time you can get Wednesday night to Saturday afternoon. But it is not an excuse. It is an explanation.
“We want to be in the Champions League so we cannot cry when we are tired. Our challenge is to win these kinds of games even when we are tired.”
However, the manager was pleased with the character of his team having come back from a freakish own goal by Thomas Vermaelen.
“We could have lost this game earlier in the season,” he said. “The positive again is that we have shown exceptional spirit, desire and refusal to lose the game. Overall if you look back at where we came from we have a long unbeaten run and of course we are disappointed because we dropped two points.
“But I feel we are in a way of improvement and hopefully we can show that again Tuesday night.”
Arsenal travel to Wigan for their next Premier League game but Man City in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, a game for which the manager is likely to make significant changes to his squad.