Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Wenger wants winning mentality

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal side to show they are winners every time they step out onto the pitch.

Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas, who will miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Birmingham at Emirates Stadium with a hamstring problem, expressed his concerns in a Spanish radio interview of the need for his team-mates' "wealth of quality" to be translated into a "winning mentality" and deliver some long-overdue silverware.

"It can be misinterpreted. I think everybody has a great desire to win, but you get a winning mentality as well when you have won," Wenger said when asked to respond to his captain's outspoken comments.

"What is at stake for us is not the desire to win, but to make history and to win trophies.

"As long as you have not won you are not completely certain that you can do it - but that does not mean that you lack the desire to win.

"This team has a great desire to win, but you have to show it week in week out.

"This life, at the top level, in the best league in the world, is to turn up every single game at full cylinders."

Wenger will take charge of his 800th match at the weekend. However, the Frenchman, who turns 61 later this month, maintains a positive result would be the only cause for celebration.

"What is important is that I focus on the result of the game tomorrow - it is not a birthday game, it is a very important game for us in the league," said Wenger, in charge of the Gunners since September 1996.

"I hope, and am convinced, that everyone will be highly focused. It is a big game for us."

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