Kieran Gibbs says Arsenal answered some of their critics with their 2-0 win at Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
Arsène Wenger's side were given little hope of advancing to the last eight of the Champions League after losing the first leg 3-1 to the Bundeliga leaders, but they went mighty close to a famous triumph thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
Some headlines on the day of the game suggested that Arsenal had "given up" on the tie but Gibbs says the Gunners proved otherwise.
Anyone who has their doubts can have them, but the belief is there in the team. We just have to turn that into results and correct our mistakesKieran Gibbs
"We are right to get criticism but we’re not right to be told that we don’t have character in the team," he told Arsenal Player.
"We showed that tonight so anyone who has their doubts can have them, but the belief is there in the team. We just have to turn that into results and correct our mistakes and things will look positive for the team."
Gibbs made a lively return from a six-week injury absence but, like his team-mates, he had mixed emotions at the final whistle.
"You can only feel as good as the result but we’re not through," he said. "You can say that at the end we were unlucky not to go through. I think the second goal might have come a little bit too late. The boys gave everything so you can’t fault the effort. It’s disappointing.
"It’s a similar situation to last season [when Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-0 but went out 4-3 on aggregate]. We’re always left feeling disappointed which is really frustrating, especially when it’s the second year on the bounce.
"You have to look at what’s going wrong at the start [of the tie] so that we can correct that. It gives us the best chance to go forward.
"But we can take positives out of tonight. Munich’s not an easy place to come and win the game, so we have to take the positives from that. The team showed character tonight. We have to leave proud but disappointed.
"If we want to play in this competition again, we have to win on Saturday [at Swansea City] and we have to win probably for the rest of the season. We have to forget about this now and focus on the Premier League."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source