Laurent Koscielny says Arsenal cannot use injuries as an excuse for their recent defensive vulnerability.

The French centre back has been in impressive form this season but has been disappointed in recent weeks after consecutive Premier League defeats.

Koscielny admits the injury problems afflicting the squad are problematic, but he insists Arsenal should not blame them for poor results.

“We’ve lost a lot of players and haven’t had any real full-backs fit, so it has certainly been difficult,” he told the Official Arsenal Programme.

“They’re important to us at both ends of the pitch, but several players have come in and they’ve given all they have. Regardless of that, we know we can do much better defensively.

“It’s not just about the back four - we need to defend together, as a team, and that makes the defenders’ jobs easier too. It also helps our attackers if we win the ball in the opposition half, so we need to work hard in all areas.”

The full interview with Laurent is available in the Official Matchday Programme for the Manchester United game. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2014 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 22 Jan 2012