Arsène Wenger says Cardiff City’s never-say-die attitude makes them dangerous opponents for his table-topping side.
The Gunners head to south Wales with a four-point cushion at the summit of the Premier League and have a chance to extend their lead with their main rivals all playing on Sunday.
But having seen Malky Mackay’s team secure a 2-2 draw against Manchester United last week, Wenger accepts Arsenal face a major challenge.
They have that special attitude and belief in the side, and that makes them dangerousArsène Wenger
“They look to have good solidarity, good togetherness [and] fantastic support as well,” the manager said. “They are all on the same wavelength in the team and are very efficient at home on set-pieces.
“Even on Sunday when they were 2-1 down against Man United, many teams could have thought 'OK, it's Man United, we will not come back'.
“But you always had the feeling that they don't give up. You could feel that they would come back. They have that special attitude and belief in the side, and that makes them dangerous.”
Wenger has been impressed with Cardiff’s approach against the biggest sides, having beaten Manchester City and drawn with United this season.
“It is fantastic what [Mackay] has done,” he said. “I watched their game last Sunday against Man United and that is what has changed compared to 10 years ago: the teams that have come up from the Championship fight with the top teams in the Premier League on the possession front. That shows you how much the game has improved in the lower divisions.
“They beat City at home. They played a very good game against Man United where possession was 50:50. That's the challenge for us; to do better than these teams.
“And of course we have the warning of their performances against the big teams, so we are in a position where we have a difficult challenge but also a very exciting challenge because we can do better.”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 29 Nov 2013