By Nik Brumsack

Jack Wilshere insists Arsenal must "step up" when they take on Reading at Madejski Stadium on Monday night.

Arsène Wenger’s team were defeated by Bradford in last Tuesday’s Capital One Cup quarter-final, and have won one of their last six games in all competitions.

Wilshere knows it’s time for the team to regain their form, and says the whole squad have a responsibility to ensure they take three points from Reading.

“We have got some great leaders in this team - people like Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta,” Wilshere said. “But all the players can lead by example. We all have to step up now, it's a tough time but we have to stick together and be united.

“A lot of people are criticising the manager at the moment, but there will be a time when they look at the players and ask questions of us. We don't want that, so we have to step up and be counted.

“We have to get the result, that's the main thing. We know it won't be easy, especially having just lost at Bradford.

“They can play football as well, they are desperate for a win too, down the bottom of the league. So we need to roll our sleeves up, put our foot in and do what we are good at - keeping the ball. When we create chances we know we have to take them.

“I think technically we are probably the best team out there. We keep the ball well and that's what we have to try to do against Reading. We need to try to create chances, outplay them and also remember our defensive duties.

“As soon as we lose the ball we have to win it back. As long as we have possession, the opposition can't score. That's where we start from, and then when we create chances we've got to score them.”

Copyright 2014 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 15 Dec 2012