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Horncastle: Juve's Allegri is vindicated

Serie A
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Mertesacker: International break killed us

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has claimed the international break "killed" the team's momentum and warned his team-mates that they need to show more fight to get back on track after a desperate week.

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Back-to-back defeats against Norwich last Saturday and Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday night have rocked the confidence that was rising in Arsene Wenger's dressing room.

And the Germany international admits it is vital that they bounce back in defiant fashion against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and stop the current rot.

"We have had a difficult week, our results were kind of an accident and now we have to find our game again," he told the club's official website. "The international break was a killer for us. We have to find our strength again quickly.

"We have the potential in this team, but first we have to fight. We have to learn quickly from what happened last weekend and against Schalke. If we do not find these solutions, it is going to be difficult in the Premier League and the Champions League.

"It is our task now to find our self-confidence as we have great players with great potential. So it will be good to have a game against QPR to show our potential again.

"We will try to be positive before the next game. In our training sessions we will look to get our confidence back. Sometimes you need one game to find your strength and quality, so let's do it on Saturday."

Wenger has confirmed that Jack Wilshere will almost certainly make his first-team comeback against QPR and he has not ruled out handing a starting place to the midfielder who has been out of Premier League action for nearly 16 months.

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