By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger says staying focused on the task in hand was the key to Sunday’s FA Cup comeback victory against Aston Villa.

Trailing by two goals at half time, Arsenal came flying out of the blocks in the second half and scored three goals in seven minutes to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Wenger insists that it was the players’ inner focus that prompted their comeback rather than tub-thumping speeches at the interval.

“Contrary to what people think, there was not a lot of talk at half time,” he told Arsenal Player.

“We were focused to qualify and what people don't always realise sometimes is that teams against us work very hard to get the ball back in the first half.

“In the second half, they drop physically because they put in so much effort. So the domination is easier as well.”

Wenger believes the spirit shown to mount such a thrilling comeback demonstrates the strength of character that runs through his squad.

“The first half was played a bit with the handbrake on because, of course, we had been touched by the fact that recently results went against us,” he said.

“In the second half when we just let it go. I felt that we [put in] an outstanding performance. The spirit is great in the team, they have character and it was a good opportunity to show it on Sunday.

“I think just the fact that we realised that you have to give it all or you are out. It made a big impact.”

See the full interview with the manager on Arsenal Player.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
31 Jan 2012