'It is a farce, judge me at end of season' - Arsene Wenger hits back at critics
Arsene Wenger last night dismissed questions about the challenge now facing Arsenal as "a farce" and urged angry fans to reserve judgement until the end of the season.
A fourth defeat in six games has left Arsenal battling to salvage their season ahead of playing Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday and then Everton on Saturday in the Premier League.
Asked about the "big challenge" that Arsenal faced, Wenger said: "The next game is always a big challenge and you are always in the middle of a drama.
"It is becoming a farce. We have lost a game. We are sad and we want to focus on the next game. Arsenal has lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief.
"Observers are not supporters. Supporters stand behind the club and we want to fight until the end of the season for every single game. What is going on at the moment is very, very difficult to take for the players but judge us at the end of the season.
"We have come to the end of a very, very long run in the FA Cup, so it is very sad."
It is understood that Wenger later also brought a radio interview to an abrupt end although he was dismissive of questions about the players' confidence or defending.
"It's nothing to do with confidence," he said. "The recent results haven't shown that but we have played against good teams. We have shown we can respond always. I think this team has a great spirit, a very strong attitude.
"I don't think we suffered a lot defensively. Watford is a team that is good on the break. I think overall we didn't give many chance away."
Barcelona now looms, with Wenger urging his players "to make the impossible possible".
Even with an arguably bigger match at Everton looming at lunchtime on Saturday, he has promised not to rest players in Spain.
"It is very difficult against Barcelona, but we have to see it as a challenge," he said. "We have an opportunity to show on Wednesday night we are up to it."
Arsenal are 2-0 down after the first leg and, should they concede at the Nou Camp, will need to score at least three times. (© Daily Telegraph, London)