Manager Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal is not "fragile", but accepts the players are in need of a lift ahead of Saturday's (1.00am Sunday AEDT) visit of English Premier League struggler Queens Park Rangers.
It has been a testing spell for the Gunners since the international break, with successive lacklustre defeats at Norwich and then at home to Schalke in the UEFA Champions League setting up a heated annual general meeting at the
Wenger used his address to call for a sense of perspective of what the club has achieved up against the limitless spending power of its rivals.
The Arsenal manager later told reporters there was no question over the character of his squad, just that it perhaps needed some reassurances, with defender Per Mertesacker admitting confidence had dipped.
"I don't say that the players are fragile, but you could see against Schalke that we played all right in the first half, but slowly we dropped. Is it physical or confidence? It is difficult to know," Wenger said.
"Mertesacker is right. This team cares - sometimes you are surprised that they care so much, they do.
"When you don't get the result the confidence goes quickly. That is part of the quality you have to show, that we are capable of dealing with that."
Wenger continued: "The result at Norwich maybe affected them more than they would think. It shows that maybe we overrated a little bit the difficulty in
"Chelsea was a big disappointment, but we didn't come out of the game and think that Chelsea were stronger than us - we were stupid as we made mistakes.
"Norwich was a bit of a different shock because we never created chances and that much more affected the team."
Wenger has several first team players recovering from injury, but for England midfielder
"Physically he is at 80 to 85%," said Wenger.
"What you have to consider first is that he has no setback and that you don't put players in situations where they pick up an injury, that is what you look at.
"After if you look at a more selfish view you can say a guy can play an hour, but during this hour it is important that he is fit enough to play.
"It is difficult to plan."
Midfielder Abou Diaby and goalkeeper
The 23-year-old has yet to agree a contract extension, but Wenger remains ever hopeful.
He said: "Theo will be available for next week, on the rest we are still working."
English Premier League
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