Wenger happy as Bilic looks to restore confidence

The Gunners had only won one and drawn another in their past six Premier League games, to leave their hopes of Champions League qualification - having reached the last 17 tournaments - in real jeopardy.

He said: "I feel that he's back now, physically focused". But we need that win.

He said: "Everybody needs to remember how good we are, as a team and as individuals".

Asked if the team are still playing for the manager, Wenger replied: "I dont know, they play first for the club and for themselves, and of course I am part of the club as well". And make no mistake, I am not expecting the handsome game on Saturday.

"We come out of a hard period and our confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly".

The north London giants have struck 61 times in the Premier League (at a rate of 2.1 per game), while 20 came in the Champions League (2.5 per game) and 20 in the domestic cups (2.9 per game).

"[Swansea and Sunderland] are massively important games but I have had those kinds of games before and some of the players have had those kinds of games". We have shown that in the past.

"That's why maybe as well two or three accidents we had in recent games were a bit shocking". West Ham were ninth in the table at the end of February, but five defeats in a row have left them in 15th place, five points above the bottom three. "We were convincing after the break", Wenger told the BBC.

"We have a little handicap on the points front".

Wenger's side will be looking to keep record back to back wins when they take on Crystal Palace this weekend. "I haven't lost my belief in them, they are good players".

"In the first half we needed to be patient and not make a mistake, and in the second half our technical superiority made the difference", Wenger said.

"It's also true that we have a few games in hand, we are a few games behind some of the teams on top of us".

"After the second goal it's very unsafe to play against them because when you have the ball they let you create and they take a risk staying up with a few players and when you lose the ball it's a problem for the defenders".

  • Julie Sanders