By Chris Harris
Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal must keep their confidence levels up despite failing to produce their best form at Southampton on New Year's Day.
Arsène Wenger's side went into 2013 on a high after beating Newcastle United 7-3 but they needed an own goal from Guly Do Prado to rescue a point at St. Mary's Stadium after Gaston Ramirez had given the Saints a first-half lead.
Vermaelen voiced his concerns about Arsenal's collective defending after the match but he knows the squad must maintain its spirit ahead of a testing run of games in the FA Cup and Premier League.
"We are disappointed with the result, with the way we played, but I think we have to stay confident and the spirit has to be good all the time," Vermaelen told Arsenal Player.
"It's true [our form is good], of course we want to win every game, that's why a draw is [disappointing], but we didn't lose and before we won four games. In the league everything is really close, everybody can win against everybody. It's a tight race and we are confident.
"We didn't play our best game [against Southampton], we didn't create a lot of chances to score goals. Even the goal [we scored] wasn't a chance in my opinion. It wasn't a great afternoon.
"Wojciech had to make a few saves, I think our overall defending as a team can always be better. I think the space between the defence and our strikers was too big so they could have play their game if they wanted. We have to work on that, it has to be better."
Watch the full interview with Thomas on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2013 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 2 Jan 2013