Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal are still in the mix for the Premier League title despite admitting they are going through “a bad spell”.
The Gunners were held by Tottenham before losing 2-1 away to West Brom last week and a spirited Norwich City came from a goal down to force a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road on Sunday.
Wenger accepts results should be better but, with Arsenal still just two points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Leicester City, the 66-year-old sees little reason to panic.
He said: “We have to go through that spell. We’ve had a bad spell of three games where we took only two points, but we’re still not far and that’s alright. It’s not enough, but we have an opportunity to come back.
“It was a difficult game. Norwich were focused and at a top level physically, we play every time with 10 players in their own half and we were not incisive enough to break through.
“Maybe the turning point was at 1-0 up, we allowed ourselves to drop a little and let them back into the game.
“We had to dig deep to get through the second half, we were a little jaded. I would say it was a fair point for Norwich but, on the injury front, it was a bad game for us.”
Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny were forced off injured and Santi Cazorla required treatment after taking a blow to his knee.
Wenger revealed that he had been tempted to rest Sanchez before he passed medical tests ahead of Sunday’s match but, despite fearing the Chile forward has suffered damage to his hamstring muscle, he insists he was right to start him.
“The players are there to play football, not to be rested when the press decides that they need to be,” he added. “He says it’s a kick on his hamstring, I believe that’s not really the reality. I fear it’s not.
“When Cazorla was down he had a kick on one knee. The worrying thing is it got worse during the game. Koscielny got a kick on his hip.
“I must say with all humility we are not in a position to predict [injuries]. Despite all our tests he [Sanchez] looked alright. We checked it, when you have normal stretch in your hamstring there is no problem.
“I believe it’s normal that a player gives everything in every game. You have plenty of players across Europe who play in every single game and at the moment we are a bit short. I can take a gamble on one.”