Bacary Sagna has urged his Arsenal teammates to forget about Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City and focus on the FA Cup replay that lies ahead against Swansea City.
The Gunners fell to a 2-0 defeat against the Citizens at the Emirates Stadium, with Laurent Koscielny’s early red card proving pivotal against the Premier League champions.
And, whilst the defeat leaves Arsene Wenger’s side in a tricky looking position in the table, Sagna insists morale must remain high ahead of a tough-looking third round clash against the Swans.
"To play 11 v 11 against City is very hard, even if you are at home, but 10 against 11 is even harder. It is harder to play on the pitch and it is hard to have control of the ball, so we have to look forward to the next game and keep our heads up,” the French international told Arsenal player.
"It is always nice to see a goalkeeper saving a penalty but it is difficult to play. City have some quality players, we have some nice players as well, but with one more on the pitch than us it makes it very difficult."
With a tricky run of fixtures ahead, Sagna will welcome a quick days rest before Michael Laudrup’s side arrive in north London.
A Michu double proved to be the difference between the two sides in the league, but with trophy-opportunities few and far between, Arsenal will know this is an opportunity to claim some silverware.
"We can't let our heads go down. First of all we need to rest because we play in two days. After that we just need to keep pushing because we have many games to come back and we are not far from third position, so we have to keep the heads up," added Sagna.
Manager and compatriot Wenger echoed the sentiments of his full-back, admitting his players are desperate to do well and eager to prove they have the quality to match any team – starting against this week’s Welsh opponents.
"The team is desperate to do well and has quality,” Wenger said on Arsenal Player.
"We need to be conscious that we have quality and we have to show more authority from the start in big games. The authority comes with the confidence in your quality."