Cesc Fabregas insists Arsenal's young Gunners cannot use age as an excuse should they fail to deliver a trophy this season.
Following successive defeats to Manchester United and Chelsea, Arsene Wenger's side breathed new life into their Barclays Premier League campaign with victory over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. Other results went the Gunners' way, as the top two both failed to win leaving the deficit to leaders Chelsea at six points.
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Wenger has long championed the potential of his young side, and believes their time will come, reflecting after defeat at Stamford Bridge: "Chelsea are more experienced - they are 29, we are 23."
Fabregas, 22, feels Arsenal must show their maturity sooner rather than later.
"As a team, we need to be stronger," the Arsenal captain declared.
"We can't hide behind people saying we are too young or we have injuries. We just have to compete.
"People say you must learn from your mistakes, but you learn how to play football when you are 12, 13, 14, 15. You don't learn these things when you are 25.
"Of course, you can still improve, always improve, but the basics must be there.
"If you play for Arsenal, it is because you have to have these attributes. That is why I do not believe age is an excuse."
Fabregas continued: "In the past few years, we have been doing very well, but whenever it comes to important moments, maybe we haven't been up where we need to be. We have always tried to play our football, but the goals we have conceded lately have come from defensive mistakes."
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