Arsène Wenger was encouraged by Abou Diaby’s performance after the midfielder made his first-team comeback in Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City.

Diaby started for the first time in more than three months on Sunday, after recovering from a thigh injury sustained against Chelsea in late September.

Wenger is backing the 26-year-old to go from strength to strength as his team look to recover from their setback against the champions.

“Diaby became stronger during the game,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“I feel he was like the team. He started very slowly and became stronger in the second part of the game. I took the gamble [to replace the injured Mikel Arteta with Diaby] because I feel that it was needed. It’s good that he came through well. He will become stronger very quickly.

“The team is desperate to do well and has quality. We need to be conscious that we have quality and we have to show more authority from the start in big games. The authority comes with the confidence in your quality.”

Watch the full interview with Wenger on Arsenal Player

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Nik Brumsack 15 Jan 2013