‘My team are hurting’ – Arsenal boss Wenger targets return to form

Arsene Wenger says his Arsenal side are ‘hurting’ after their defeat at Bradford on Tuesday and is demanding that his side bounce back in their next Premier League match at Reading on Monday evening.

The Gunners lost out on penalties to the League Two Bantams, but Wenger insists that his current crop of players are among the most committed he has seen at the club during his 16-year spell in north London, and the Frenchman is confident his side will bounce back against the relegation-threatened Royals.

“I’ve had groups who had fantastic results [but] were less serious than these players, believe me,” the Gunners boss told reporters.

“Of course these players are hurting.

 You think they don’t care and they go home and think they had a fantastic game? They do care.”

Wenger’s position at the club has come under growing pressure after seven years without a trophy, but Gunners defender Keiron Gibbs has nothing but praise for the 63-year-old.

“He has built a reputation for signing players for a modest fee and turning them into great players,” Gibbs told www.fourfourtwo.com.

“I don’t think many people in England had really heard of Thomas Vermaelen before he arrived and yet he became an instant fan favourite at the club.

“The manager has an eye for noticing the potential in promising players.”

Gibbs also revealed the role that former Arsenal captain Steve Bould has taken on since being appointed assistant manager at the beginning of the season.

“Steve has his own view of the game and goes through a lot of detail after matches,” the young left-back added.

“He makes sure everyone understands their unique roles and we have worked on a number of things, including how to face attackers and moving up the pitch as a unit.”

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