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Wenger dismisses defeats as "accidents"

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal's two defeats in the Premier League have been "accidents''.

The Gunners return to action following the international break with the visit of Birmingham on tomorrow, before then heading to Holland for a Champions League clash against AZ Alkmaar.

Arsenal have responded well since successive losses to both Manchester clubs, putting together a run of six consecutive victories in all competitions and they are currently the leading scorers in the top flight.

The Gunners are now up into fifth place, but could move to within three points of leaders Chelsea should they win their game in hand, at home to Bolton, which has yet to be re-arranged.

Wenger feels his young side have shown great character to produce such a response following what were difficult results to swallow either side of the last international break.

"I think this year, more than ever, those two defeats were an accident,'' the Arsenal manager said. "There is a realisation that we have the quality - it is not as if we came out of those games thinking we were not good enough, and in fact they reinforced our belief and desire.

"We responded very well. I know we have the quality, so those are strong basic ingredients to do well.''

Wenger is in no doubt of the importance of continued strong performances in front of the 60,000-strong Gunners faithful, with north London rivals Tottenham due to visit at the end of the month.

"We know that our season will be decided at home,'' declared the Arsenal manager. "We have the ability to win anywhere, but how well we deal with opponents like Blackburn will decide things.

"We need to keep our focus high and approach each game with the same desire.''

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