Arsenal to make the 'impossible possible'
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his side to "make the impossible possible" as they look to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the second leg of their clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Wenger is urging his side to draw inspiration from their Champions League near miss against AC Milan last season, as they scored three times without reply in the second leg of their last-16 tie after a 4-0 drubbing in the first leg at the San Siro.
However, the 63-year-old accepts the odds on his side progressing are slim.
"The chance is small, but the chance makes the impossible possible," Wenger is quoted in several Sunday newspapers. "We will of course remember what we did in the second leg against Milan last year and must go into the match with a positive attitude from the start and fight until the very end.
"There have been a few big wins by Arsenal in the Champions League that we are all very proud of. We just have to convince ourselves that we can do it in Munich as well. That would be a great credit for our team if we believe we can do it."
Wenger hopes Bayern's belief that their passage to the quarter-finals of the Champions League will be routine, after they outclassed the Gunners in the first leg, can play into the hands of his underdogs.
"We are chasing the game in a very difficult environment against a team that has no doubts at all," he states. "Our mentality is to go there, not resigned, but ambitious and provoke things, not go there and think 'we will not qualify anyway'.
"We will go to Munich and have to go there and give ourselves a chance to qualify with everybody believing we can do it. We have to behave on the football pitch like a team who wants to do it. That will be the task in the preparation and we will be positive.
"We have to try to put Bayern on the back foot. Subconsciously anyway, they think they are through and we have to subconsciously think that we can do it. The only way to do it is to have a very positive attitude from the start of the match.
"I don't think you can just switch it on after an hour if you have been cautious. When you have been cautious against a team like Bayern, you risk being 1-0 down and we cannot afford to go behind in this game."
Arsenal forward Gervinho is also sprinkling positive sentiments ahead of Arsenal's return against the Bundesliga leaders, even though he admits they were outclassed in the first leg against Bayern.
"Bayern are one of the best teams in the world and on the night they were better than us, but we go to Munich and this is a completely new match," said the Ivory Coast winger. "We are only at half time in this tie and we must go there with belief.
"The players will go to Munich and give absolutely everything. We have to believe in ourselves and our talents. Personally, I still believe we can make it, I know it will be difficult, but I still believe in us.
"We are going through a tough period at the moment, but there is still a really good spirit with this group of players. Just because we lost the first match at Emirates Stadium, we will not give up."