By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger has played down Wednesday’s defeat in Porto, insisting that maintaining his side’s Premier League winning run is the No 1 priority at the moment.

The 2-0 reverse at the Dragao Stadium in midweek ended Arsenal’s unbeaten start to their Champions League campaign and the nature of defeat led some to question the hunger of Wenger’s team.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit to Middlesbrough, the manager rejected those claims, declaring that desire alone is not enough to be successful.

“It is linked with potential, talent and quality around you - you have to accept the form of the day,” said Wenger.

“I don't give any consideration to the game [on Wednesday] but what is important is that we beat Chelsea, we beat Wigan and that we continue to win. [Porto] was a special game under special circumstances.

“Since I've been in football, when you don't win it is because you don't want to. It is those who want to that do it and those who don't do it, it is because they cannot.

“The culture is always the same, it is based on who does not want to be a star and who does not want to be the best in the game - but everybody does.”

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12 Dec 2008