The Gunners boss eyes a strengthening of belief for the final weeks of the season by ending a poor run at Old Trafford with victory in the FA Cup quarter-finals
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United could be a defining moment for his team as they prepare for the final weeks of the season.
The FA Cup holders travel to Old Trafford in good form, having won 10 of their last 12 matches in all competitions.
As well as aiming to defend the cup, Arsenal remain in the Champions League and have their sights set on a top-four finish to ensure that they qualify for the competition again in 2015-16.
“It is a big game and every big win in a big game has an impact subconsciously in the belief of the team,” Wenger told reporters.
“Winning the FA Cup last season gave us energy because we had a few years without winning a trophy and, on that front, it was vital.
“This team has a good mentality because we had a slow start this season and every time, when we lose a big game, you see how much the players are touched.
“I think the mentality is very healthy. They want to do well and we will be focused.”
Wenger also concedes that he had prioritised other competitions ahead of the cup in the past.
“The FA Cup was always badly positioned before the Champions League games so you always had decisions to make,” he remarked. “What do you sacrifice? It was always the FA Cup, in the end.
“Sometimes, as well, I did not sacrifice the FA Cup years before and we paid the price because we lost one or two important players two or three days before an important game.”