By Richard Clarke 

Arsène Wenger believes his Arsenal side still have a winning mentality, despite their costly defeat to Tottenham on Saturday. 

The home side went into the North London derby knowing a win would put them top albeit temporarily. In fact, if they had held on to their 2-0 half-time advantage, Arsenal would have finished the weekend as Premier League leaders.

However they shipped three goals to lose their first home game against their local rivals in 17 years. It was a bitter blow to Wenger’s ambitions but it did not lead the manager to question his team’s psyche.

“I cannot deny that we missed an opportunity to make a difference on the teams behind us,” he said. “It’s a big concern, a main concern.

“But,” he went on. “I don’t believe that [their mentality is a problem]. They have the mentality, they want to win.”

If anything Wenger feels that the issue on Saturday was physical not mental.

“I believe today some players could not maintain the pace of the game because they played Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday,” he said. “It’s too much.

“They played 90 minutes for their national team on Wednesday night - that doesn’t work.

“I didn’t have to [play them]. But they all played [in internationals]. We play again on Tuesday and we were at home so you sometimes think you will get away with it, you can play an hour with a top players and then make the changes.”

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22 Nov 2010