Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has encouraged his teammates to remain united after the 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta‘s men suffered their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches at St Mary’s, extending the alarming slide that has seen them drop out of the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur’s slip-up against Brighton provided Arsenal with the perfect opportunity to recover lost ground in the race for Champions League football but they fluffed their lines, leaving them three points behind Spurs with seven games to play.
With Thomas Partey out injured, Lokonga has started in Arsenal’s last two matches and he has called for the team to maintain belief as they look to rediscover the form that earned Arteta the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March.
“I think everybody in the dressing room knows that it’s not enough for the moment but we need to stick together and get back to winning ways,” he told the club website.
“We need to believe, I think that’s the first thing. We need to stick together. We’ve been through this so we can do it again.
“They (the fans) are always behind us so we need to say thank you to them and we need them. They need to stay behind us because we will turn this (around).”
Arteta said of the defeat: “(It’s) difficult to explain because this is football and it is not basketball. With any other sport you win the games very comfortably and you are talking about different things.
“Difficult to explain considering [the performance], to lose that football match. At the end of the day it is decided in the boxes, they scored one goal, and for the amount of time that we spent around the box, and the shots that we had and the situations and the clear-cut chances that we had – we didn’t put them in the goal.
“Because they had an exceptional goalkeeper today, and as well we didn’t have enough quality and enough capacity to break them down when we had the numbers and the situations to do so.”