Wenger - We are mentally strong
Arsene Wenger believed battling back from a two-goal deficit proves Arsenal have mental toughness.
Last Updated: 20/03/11 9:10am
Arsene Wenger believed battling back from a two-goal deficit against West Brom proves Arsenal have the mental toughness to win the Premier League.
Goals from Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie earned a 2-2 draw but the result meant the Gunners slipped further behind rivals Manchester United in the race for the title.
After question marks about his side's resilience in recent weeks, Wenger was pleased with the character shown to grab a point.
Now he has challenged his players to use the result as a platform for the rest of the season.
He said: "We had our backs to the wall and it was about our character and resilience.
"The pitch was very difficult so it was more down to our fight and character than pure football.
"I'm disappointed because it was a game where we dropped two points.
"But psychologically for the rest of the season it was important for us to show character and not lose a game.
"We have been hit very hard but we have the mental resolve and I think we have shown that today.
"I think that is a good basis to finish the season now.
"And overall I think the team, if not completely happy tonight, at least we know we are ready for a fight.
"To lose today would have been a massive blow and it was a better point because we were two goals down.
"Mathematically we dropped two but let's start again at home next time."
Wenger bemoaned the mix-up between goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and defender Sebastien Squillaci which gifted a second goal to West Brom.
But he refused to say whether 41-year-old keeper Jens Lehmann would be given the opportunity to replace Almunia.
He said: "It was a big misunderstanding and I have to watch that closer to see what really happened there.
"We were 100 per cent guilty on that one.
"Competition exists in every position and when you make an error you are judged like every other player.
"It's the interests of the club which counts."
Wenger added his team could be boosted by the return of injured stars Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Abou Diaby and Alex Song after the international break.