Theo Walcott has pinpointed Arsène Wenger’s half-time team talk as the inspiration for Arsenal’s victory against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night.

After Shaun Maloney equalised Lukas Podolski’s early opener on the stroke of the break, Wenger’s team scored three times in the second period to secure a crucial 4-1 win.

Walcott was pleased with the way Arsenal imposed themselves following some strong words from the boss and feels the team’s experience will now be vital in Sunday’s do-or-die trip to Newcastle United.

The manager gave us a kick up the backside

Theo Walcott

“It’s great that the manager has that passion and it got a bit more out of the players,” Walcott said. “We all knew how big it was [to win against Wigan], not just for the manager, the fans, the players and the Club itself.

“It’s massive to be in the Champions League. It’s in our hands. The manager gave us a kick up the backside. I felt we did show some good play in the first half but we didn’t manage to take our chances. Thankfully we did in the second.

“When it was half time, we had 45 minutes. We didn’t have to panic. We had plenty of time left. We just had to keep making the right decisions and not force it.

“That’s the important thing. We know when to play at the right times and when to commit bodies forward and I think we got that balance right. We need to make sure we do it on Sunday as well.”

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 Nik Brumsack 16 May 2013