Arsene Wenger has said the title race is “never over” after he called for everyone at Arsenal to stick together through their rough patch.
The Gunners are 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea after back-to-back defeats, but the under-pressure manager has stated that Arsenal cannot afford to wave the white flag just yet.
“It is never over. Even if you (the media) think it is, I don’t – we can’t think like that,” Wenger said ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Hull.
“We’re in a pack that is very tight and the fight for every position will be massive, maybe more this season than before.
“If it is over for us, it is over for everyone else as we are all in the pack.
“Chelsea have an advantage, they do not play in Europe, they play for nothing, they do not play midweek games and are in a strong position.”
Wenger was once again dismissive about his his own Arsenal and refused to confirm whether a new two-year contract was on the table.
He added: “Ideally you want everybody to be happy.
“Arsenal is made of special strengths, and that strength is to be united when things go wrong.”
“That story has been twisted,” he said.
Asked if he had spoken to Koscielny about the reported remarks, Wenger said: “Yes of course. He didn’t mean that at all (that the line-up was wrong). But when you have disappointing results you know what you get – people who turn things around. But we can deal with that.”
Wenger said a decision is expected to be taken on Friday over whether Spanish full-back Hector Bellerin can feature against the Tigers.
The 21-year-old suffered a head injury as he challenged in vain to stop Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso heading in the Blues’ opener at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.