Arsène Wenger believes his side have become “too respectful” of the biggest teams and wants them to start imposing themselves.

Arsenal have been two goals down at the break in their last two Premier League games, against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Despite improved second-half showings, they were unable to turn around either result and Wenger is demanding more in the final months of the season.

“I don't question the players' character but then you look at the consistency of the results in the big games,” the manager said.

Every time we start to show what we can do, the game is already lost. That is what we have to change

“The attitude of the players is fantastic. They want to do well and are focused, but are maybe a bit too respectful in the big games. Every time we start to show what we can do, the game is already lost. That is what we have to change.

“The players come out and think 'we could have done better'. But when you look at the first half we lost goals that we shouldn't lose and 50:50s you cannot lose in big games. You have to go with a mentality in big games based on belief and total commitment.”

The Gunners are seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand, but Wenger says last season’s resurgence gives him belief his side can rise up the table again.

“It gives me confidence but it is also frustrating as we don't want to be in this position,” he said. “We want to challenge for the championship and therefore now until the end of the season we really have to stand up and show our strength and character.

“Last season we came from further behind and finished third but Chelsea are a bit away from us now. The game that we lost at Chelsea on Sunday had difficult mathematical consequences.”

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Rob Kelly 22 Jan 2013