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Wenger welcomes confidence boost

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Dec 2012

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side would gain great belief from a third straight Premier League win on Saturday.

Wenger’s side edged out Wigan 1-0 at DW Stadium following Mikel Arteta’s 60th-minute penalty.

The victory lifted the Gunners into the Premier League top three before Saturday’s later matches, and the Frenchman said the win would raise spirits and confidence at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger also paid tribute to a resolute Wigan side.

“It was a difficult game but that will give us belief and confidence. They went for us and it’s a good result,” Wenger said.

“They stopped us from playing. We weren’t as fluent and sharp as Monday (5-2 win over Reading). They had great desire.

“They are in the wrong position in the table. They have a very good midfield and their full-backs did very well.”

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was left fuming after two penalty decisions went against his side in the defeat.

Trailing to Arteta’s penalty after a debatable spot kick was awarded for a challenge on Theo Walcott, Martinez was incensed when a ball struck Gunners left-back Kieran Gibbs on the arm only for referee Jon Moss to wave play on.

“The (Arsenal ) penalty was very very soft, if anything, I think. Theo Walcott is very clever there,” Martinez said.

“And then at the other end if you want to give a penalty where the hands are not in the natural position … I’m really disappointed because the players don’t deserve the feeling that they’ve got now.

Wigan remain in the relegation zone on goal difference and Martinez said the cards were not falling his side’s way.

“We are in the middle of a period where calls are not going our way and we’ve got a few players missing.

“I thought we played really, really well. We played with a great mentality. The players displayed a big team mentality and I couldn’t be prouder.”

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