By Chris Harris

This week’s international break came at a good time for Arsenal.

That’s not a sentence you often read but Arsène Wenger believes that his squad benefited from a change of scenery when they left London to represent their countries following last weekend’s 4-4 draw at Newcastle.

When he faced the press shortly after Arsenal surrendered a four-goal lead at St. James’ Park, Wenger admitted that the result could do psychological damage to his players. But a surprise defeat for Manchester United and a round of midweek friendlies changed the mood.

"I didn't see the players [this week],” said Wenger. “Basically it was good to go away.

“When I said that [the Newcastle game could have a psychological impact] it was just before Man United played at Wolves and the damage could have been much bigger.

“There were two aspects in our game. The first was that as long as we were 11 against 11 we were outstanding and people forget about that. We should get a lot of belief and positives out of this game.

“When we went down to ten of course we were a bit too nervous and we have to learn from that individually and collectively.

"At the end of the day we lost two points we should have got but mathematically we are one point closer where we want to be.”

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11 Feb 2011