Arsène Wenger believes his first task after Saturday’s surprise defeat to Blackburn Rovers is to rebuild his side’s confidence.
The Arsenal manager made no excuses for their FA Cup exit at the weekend but is acutely aware that the defeat only adds to the importance of Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
It was always a massive match of course but now Europe’s elite competition is the only realistic chance of a trophy for Wenger’s men.
“It is vital for us to fight for silverware,” said the manager. “Unfortunately [the FA Cup] will not happen for us now and we can only look at ourselves and not complain about anything else. We have to come out with a strong response on Tuesday.
“First you have to rebuild the confidence because we are not playing against Blackburn in midweek. We play Bayern Munich so a lot of confidence will be needed.
“We were on a high [before Saturday] because we played well at Sunderland last week and the team looked happy and full of belief but we couldn't maintain the focus.
“The top level is about consistency in every single game and that's what we could not show. Coming after the Sunderland game we came out with a flat performance and that shows that, mentally, we are not capable at the moment of preparing in exactly the same way for every game.
“The players are really hurting but you have to take it on the chin and come back with a strong response. That's all we can do.
"I think we have a great team but Saturday shows that we still have to show more maturity on the mental front. We have to understand what it means to win big games. Blackburn was a big game for me. But it is important that we come back and respond well."Copyright 2013 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 17 Feb 2013