Arsene Wenger admits he’s wary of the time off Arsenal have had since their last game against Sutton on 20 February urging his players to be ready for a quick start when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men had been tipped to make the most of their own extended break prior to Monday’s game with Leicester only to be beaten 3-1 by the stuttering reigning champions.
Looking ahead to Saturday evening’s clash, a game that so often throws up last-gasp goals, the boss called on the Gunners to focus on achieving a morale-boosting victory.
“It’s always high intensity, very competitive,” said Wenger.
“Anfield is a special place where the fans are behind their team, where their team plays at a good pace. For us, after a little break, it’s important to switch on quickly. We have seen that’s not easy – Liverpool showed that against Leicester.
“After a break, it’s important that you are ready from the start again. You lose a little bit the rhythm of the competition and for us it’s vital to start strongly at Liverpool.
He added: “It is even more important because we have not done well recently in these kind of games. For us, this kind of game at Liverpool is of course an opportunity that we want to take.
“We have to go and take it and not wait for the result. The result comes with a ‘taking attitude’ and that for me is the most important, that we go to just start on a positive attitude. As for the consequences for the rest of the season, of course it will have vital consequences.”
Wenger also made clear that his players can’t dwell on the 5-1 defeat sustained in Munich last month.
“When you have a bad result like that, of course it plays on your mind. But I just think you have to focus on the way we want to play and on the desire to win, to fight and to take the opportunity you have to show your quality. After that, the recent history being negative, that doesn’t help. But you have to be strong enough to deal with that.”