By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger praised his side for their grace under fire at Hull on Saturday.

The Tigers’ impressive early season form was capped by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Emirates Stadium in September. The Frenchman admitted a repeat performance was on his mind on the hour when Daniel Cousin equalised Emmanuel Adebayor’s first-half opener. However, once again, Arsenal found winning goals in the closing stages. Samir Nasri and Nicklas Bendtner struck in the final eight minutes as Wenger’s men stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.

“We were 1-0 up [at Emirates] and yet they won 2-1,” said the manager. “When they came back to 1-1 [on Saturday] certainly people thought it would happen again.

“But I believe that this team has grown now. They did not give up and it was a battle in the second half. They were up for it.

“There would have been headlines [saying that our title chances were over if we had lost] but it would not necessarily have been a reality but anyway the team has to deal with that kind of headline because everybody expects so much of them.

“I am not worried though. I am just focusing on doing what we do well and get the team [focused] on their resilience.”

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19 Jan 2009