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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 17:45 UK

Wenger backs his battling Gunners

First leg result: Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal
Uefa Champions League, quarter-final second leg
Venue: Emirates Stadium Date: Wednesday, 15 April Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website


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Arsenal 'strong & hungry'' - Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes his side have the mental strength to beat Villarreal in their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

The Gunners have the advantage of an away goal after drawing 1-1 in the first leg in Spain on Tuesday, 7 April.

"I believe the team has shown great mental strength through the whole season," said Wenger.

"We have another good opportunity to show those mental strengths. The hunger and the quality is there."

The Arsenal boss added: "What makes me confident is that recently, in every single game, when the odds were against us we found the resources within the team with a strong response every single time.

"That happened at Villarreal, that happened again at Wigan (on Saturday) and every time we came out strong."

We have not given up yet to come back in the league this season

Arsene Wenger

The 4-1 win at the Latics means that, after a poor start to the season, the Gunners have gone 18 matches without defeat in the Premier League and their only loss in 2009 was at Roma in the last round of the Champions League, a tie they eventually won on penalties.

"I believe we have turned the season in a very positive way and put ourselves in a great position to qualify and we want to take advantage of that," said Wenger.

"These boys are winners. The hunger they have shown every single day in training and the focus they have shown is great, so that's why we have improved a lot. So there is still a lot more to come."

Despite trailing Premier League leaders Manchester United by 10 points and having played a game more, Wenger also believes his side still have an outside chance of the English title.

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"We have not given up yet to come back in the league this season. It is very unlikely, but we give absolutely everything in every game and we still have a chance to do it and to finish as close as possible to the top," said the Frenchman.

Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor echoed his manager's sentiments by suggesting the side are capable of winning trophies this year to reaffirm their status as one of England's elite clubs.

"We are ready for that. We did everything last season to achieve things and for me it is a little bit of luck in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Liverpool last season that knocked us out," he said.

"This season we have the chance to do it and just have to take our chances.

"If you want to be a big club, of course you have to win things, which is normal."



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see also
Arsenal v Villarreal
14 Apr 09 |  Europe
Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal
07 Apr 09 |  Europe
Wigan 1-4 Arsenal
11 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Roma 1-0 Arsenal (agg 1-1)
11 Mar 09 |  Europe
Arsenal 1-0 Roma
24 Feb 09 |  Europe


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