By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger is refusing to feel the pressure of leading the title race from the front.

The Arsenal manager takes his side to Birmingham on Saturday well aware that a victory would take them eight points clear at the top of the table, albeit temporarily. In the last week, the Emirates Stadium side have been knocked out of the FA Cup and given themselves an uphill task to get past Milan in the Champions League.
The emphasis is back on the Premier League this weekend, the trophy Arsenal now appear most likely to win.

However Wenger believes Arsenal have already surpassed wider expectations this term and is not prepared to have the goalposts moved on him now.

'I'm not really anxious," he said at Friday's pre-match press conference. "We were under real pressure at the start of the season, much worse than we are now, because everybody said we were absolutely nobody.

"The players stood up and we have absolutely nothing to lose; everybody has written this team off at the start and now we are in a good position, so why should we suddenly become nervous?"

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Richard Clarke 22 Feb 2008