Arsene Wenger says his squad is ready to step up and deliver a positive response to recent setbacks.
The Arsenal manager has lost three players to injury in the past fortnight but could have Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs back for the visit of Sunderland. Wenger is confident that his players will be ready for the challenge after a difficult November.
"It's a great opportunity to show that we are ready for a fight and we can deal with it"
"Yes [I'm glad November is over] because in the last couple of weeks we lost Francis, Alexis and Santi - basically three players in two games," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "That is of course too much, but hopefully we now have Theo not too far away, and Koscielny coming back too.
"I believe first of all it’s always a disappointment to lose the players at an important moment of the season. But on the other hand, it’s a great challenge to take for the team and a great opportunity to show that we are ready for a fight and we can deal with it.
"We prepared ourselves to go through periods like that, and I'm convinced the players are ready."
Arsenal have taken one point from their last two Premier League games - both away from home - but are still in touch with leaders Manchester City.
"We have gone through a little bit of a bad spell in recent games, but we are two points off the top," said Wenger.
"The great opportunity for us is that, despite that bad spell, we are very close. That’s why it’s important that we keep our confidence high and our determination high, and start winning again. We want the crowd to be behind the team and help us to do it."
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