By Rob Kelly

Theo Walcott says Arsenal have proved their mettle this season by reacting positively to difficult situations and disappointing defeats.

Despite a challenging start to the campaign that saw them drop to 17th place, Arsène Wenger's side have steadily risen up the table and now lie in third spot.

The Gunners' seven-game winning run was ended at QPR on Saturday, but Walcott believes they have already shown they can bounce back.

"I think that we can deal with pressure when it is thrown upon our shoulders," he told Arsenal.com.

"The manager always takes it on his back, but as players we can cope with that now because we had that tough period.

"We had a lot of injuries, things weren't going our way and Tottenham were 10 points ahead. But we dealt with that, we continued playing our football and completely turned it around.

"When people play at their full potential it makes the job so much easier. We need to learn to do this more often."

Walcott believes that the team's performances over the past few months should give them cause for optimism when they chase silverware in seasons to come.

"We have got everything. People are coming out of their shells, playing at the top of their games and staying fit," he said.

"I am as frustrated as the fans that we can't do it throughout the season. Every team has their bad period, we have been up and down at stages; we weren't playing particularly badly, we just weren't getting results and it is all about results.

"We are learning to grind out results now. The Everton game for example, saw us play very well for 20 minutes but after that it was all Everton. But we still won 1-0 and that is what we need to do more often.

"We have real character in the squad, a lot of leaders and captains, and that helps us."

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 4 Apr 2012