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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Wenger pays tribute to team
WENGER'S VIEW
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Boss Arsene Wenger paid tribute to his players as Arsenal equalled the 42-match unbeaten top-flight record.

Wenger saw his side come from 3-1 down to beat Middlesbrough 5-3 and he said: "Once again you saw our mental resources, we never lost our nerve.

"At 3-1 down we were tested mentally and football-wise and we got a fantastic response from the players.

"When we have a bad defensive day, we can have a great offensive day and that is the way we all pull together."

Wenger added: "We didn't defend well today but we found other resources to compensate for that.

"There is a special feeling among the players, a special spirit and you can see that by the fact that we don't lose.

I didn't smile when we were 3-1 down, I'm committed like my players and I wanted to fight back
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

"If you don't lose for such a long time it is a bonus because you can go out on to the pitch and focus on the game you're about to play in and have no subconscious fears."

Wenger also praised his players for their attitude at a time when football has attracted adverse publicity for matters away from the pitch.

The Gunners boss stated: "I think we are seeing a fantastic attitude from professional footballers when they are not always in the media for the right reasons.

"They've had a fantastic attitude for 42 games and no matter what sport you play or how good you are, that is something special."

Wenger admitted that Boro had put him through the wringer as they took a 3-1 lead and threatened to rain on Arsenal's parade.

He said: "I went through all the emotions.

"I didn't smile when we were 3-1 down but that is part of the game.

"I'm committed like my players and at 3-1 down I wanted to bounce back and fight back as much as they do."

Arsenal's next target is to break Nottingham Forest's 42-game unbeaten record against Blackburn on Wednesday but Wenger insisted that their prime motivation is to gain three more points.

"You have seen today that you cannot plan for two or three games ahead, you have to focus on the game in front of you because there are good sides in the Premiership who are capable of beating you.

"What keeps the players going is that we want to win the next game."


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Interview: Arsene Wenger






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