By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger admits that the next seven days “will decide our season” – but is confident his team will come through it unscathed.

Arsenal travel to Sunderland on Saturday in the Premier League, before flying to Italy to face Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League  three days later. They then return to the Stadium of Light for an FA Cup fifth-round tie next weekend.

It is a challenging schedule, but Wenger believes his team have learnt from last year when they went out of both the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of a week in March.

“We go into a period that will decide our season,” he said. “I think it is that important because in one week we play three games in three different competitions.

“In every single competition we are, of course, in a position where we want to win our games.

“It did not come off [last season] because one big disappointment can have a consequence on the next one.

“It makes me confident [this time] because I feel the team has the mental strength and a fantastic attitude on a daily basis. And from what we have learned from last year.”

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10 Feb 2012