Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not agree with striker Alexis Sanchez’s assertion his team-mates lack the belief they need to win the Premier League title.
Following Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, Sanchez suggested the Gunners are short on hunger and confidence, with Wenger’s men third, six points off the top.
Arsenal have won just three league games in 2016 ahead of Saturday’s crunch north London derby with Tottenham but Wenger claimed he has not witnessed a loss of belief among his players.
“No, I don’t see that. I felt a lot of disappointment [in the dressing room] after Wednesday I must say,” he told a media conference.
“But to come back on that we watched the game again. We were a bit unlucky as the second goal was offside and the first was a blatant foul on [Mesut] Ozil.
“Even if we look at ourselves to correct results, everything went against us.
“We want to win [against Spurs] but mathematically, you can call it as you want. It’s a need, yes, but results are so unpredictable that even the most gifted mathematician will have trouble to find the model for how this league works.”
Arsenal have not finished below rivals Spurs during Wenger’s tenure but they are at risk of spurning arguably their best chance to win the league since last lifting the trophy in 2003-04.
Asked if Tottenham’s own title tilt made it more important for Arsenal to win the league, he added: “I have never understood that way of thinking.
“You want to do well because you want to do well for yourself, you want to feel you have given everything. After that you don’t choose who else wins it.
“Sport is about the guys who deserve it … it’s not the identity that’s important. It’s normal [that fans] see it like that, you could interview fans everywhere and they’d all say the same for the other six or seven teams.
“The fans will be behind us. It’s down to us to give them more belief with the quality of our game.”