Arsene Wenger maintains he can “turn things around” at Arsenal and is refusing to contemplate quitting his post.
Calls for the Frenchman to walk away from a club that he has served for 22 years are mounting in intensity amid a sorry run of form.
A 2-1 defeat at Brighton on Sunday was a fourth in succession for the Gunners and the eighth reversal in their last 13 outings.
Wenger has never faced such opposition during his iconic reign in north London, but he retains full confidence in his ability to steer the club through a testing period.
He told Sky Sports following another disappointing display against Brighton: “It’s the first time it happens in my whole career, I must say.
“It’s not easy, but I have enough experience and enough desire to turn things around and I must say that, at the moment, when you need to stay in the game we are making a few mistakes at the wrong moments.
“We have to stick together and focus. We have no other solution.”
Wenger can expect to face further criticism over the coming weeks and months, with it already suggested that he has outstayed his welcome, but the 68-year-old insists he has given no thought to resigning.
He added:”You focus on your job. These are always the questions you get when you are in the situation we are in.
“You do your job and you do the right thing and the things you think are right for the team and that’s it.”
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Wenger said: “I must tell you, honestly, at the moment my future is not my main worry. My worry is to get Arsenal to win football games, and then we see where we go from there.
“I will try to give my best as long as I am here, and do everything to get the team back to more confidence. We need to recover physically first. The program we have is at the moment a bit too demanding.
“There’s no uncertainty [with the players about his future], I told you many times. What is the uncertainty is at the moment the quality of our performance. When you go through a difficult patch, uncertainty before the game is the quality of the performance we can give.
“Look, I don’t want to talk about my future today. I’m long enough in the job to know what’s going on and I’m long enough in the job as well to know that what’s most important is to make sure you focus on what’s important, that you give absolutely your best with full commitment.”
Arsenal have just one opportunity to salvage their season, with Wenger having conceded that a top-four finish is now beyond his side – as they sit 13 points off the pace.
They have already suffered a Carabao Cup final defeat and a shock third-round exit to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, with a defence of that trophy never getting started.
Europa League success can still be secured, which would over the Gunners a route back into the Champions League, but AC Milan await at the last-16 stage and there are still several other heavyweight outfits setting their sights on continental glory.