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Wenger plans gung-ho approach for Camp Nou rescue job

Arsene Wenger is planning a gung-ho approach when his out-of-sorts Arsenal side face the daunting challenge of overturning a 2-0 deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League last 16.

The pressure has mounted on Wenger after a three-match winless Premier League run left Arsenal 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester City, while their defence of the FA Cup came to an end in a disappointing 2-1 loss to Watford on Sunday.

Now Arsenal travel to Camp Nou for the second leg of their Champions League tie against holders Barca on Wednesday, but Wenger is refusing to give up hope of a remarkable turnaround.

“Our approach was not bad in the first leg but we lost our balance and got caught,” he said at Tueday’s pre-match news conference.

“We are in a position where we don’t have to calculate too much. I don’t think we have to think too much. We need to score two or three goals, so it demands a very clear charge and we know we have to attack.

“We have gone through a disappointing spell and it is important to remain calm and strong.

“We have won everywhere in Europe, but not here yet. The players are united to give a strong performance.”

Wenger, who is boosted by the return of centre-back Laurent Koscielny from a four-match absence with a calf injury, is aware that Arsenal must also remain tight to stop the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

“The magicians from Barcelona will demand a good defensive performance from our side,” he added.

“It’s just the next game. The Champions League is very important, we made a miracle to be in there [knockout stages]. We have to deliver something special against Barcelona.”

While it is becoming increasingly likely that Arsenal will not win a trophy this season, Wenger is remaining optimistic. 

“We fight of course to win trophies,” he continued. “At the moment we are not favourites to deliver that. No matter the difficulty, the Premiership is more open than people think it is. In the Champions League you never know.”


Tue 15 Mar, 2016
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