Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he is unsure whether the uncertainty over his future is affecting his players on the pitch.
The Frenchman has yet to announce whether he will sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium or end his over 20-year spell in charge when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Wenger, 67, has kept everyone guessing over his future, including his players, who he has conceded have started to ask him questions over his decision.
A number of supporters have been protesting in recent weeks as they want Wenger to leave following a slide in results which has seen Arsenal lose seven of their last 12 games in all competitions.
The torrid run included a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and a string of damaging Premier League losses, with Monday’s 3-0 reverse at Crystal Palace leaving them sixth in the table.
Previously Wenger has refused to accept that the doubt over his future has impacted performances, despite the seeming correlation between his lack of announcement and an alarming drop-off in results.
But, ahead of an Easter Monday clash with relegation-threatened Middlesbrough, the Frenchman said the two could be linked.
“I honestly don’t know but I hope not,” he said when asked about a level of instability due to all the uncertainty over his plans.
“When I speak about mental test it is to perform, no matter what the circumstances are around you. Is that an influence? I’d say I hope not.
“But what is for sure is that in the last three months there has been no consistency, especially away from home. At home we have not been disastrous in the quality of performance.”