Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal can "qualify against anybody" in the knockout stages of the Champions League, despite having to be content with second place behind Porto in Group G.
With his team already through to the last 16 and with several key men - like captain Cesc Fabregas and striker Robin van Persie - carrying injuries, Wenger felt confident enough to take a calculated gamble with his selection against a well-organised Portuguese outfit, who had never lost at home to an English side.
The Gunners were beaten 2-0, but Wenger said: "We can fight with everybody in Europe and can qualify against anybody."
He added: "It is important now to come back in the championship and be in a good position. We now have some time to focus on that.
"We will see who we get in the draw, and then look at the Champions League again in February."
Wenger feels Arsenal play better against the so-called bigger clubs, but he maintained: "Let's first wait to see who we get.
"It is difficult to have any speculation now."
The Arsenal manager, though, accepted his much-changed team were "not strong enough" to fight their way back into Wednesday night's game.
"In the first half, we were not in trouble until the first goal, from then on the game became more difficult," he said.
"We have seen our weaknesses from when we were in a position where we had to come out at the back and put them under pressure, because we lost balls where you cannot afford to lose balls and we were in trouble. When we are 2-0 down the belief was not there and we were not strong enough to come back."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.