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Mertesacker not interested in Deeney’s 'cojones' comment

Per Mertesacker has said he paid no attention to Troy Deeney’s comment that Arsenal lack "cojones" following their 2-1 defeat to Watford, but admits his side must be mentally tougher.

Deeney accused Arsenal of a lack of fight after Watford came from a goal down to beat the Gunners 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday in the Premier League.

Mertesacker had earlier opened the scoring for the Gunners and says his team need to learn from a defeat that leaves them nine points behind leaders Manchester City.

"I don't know what he [Deeney] said," Mertesacker told Sky Sports. "I don't pay attention. Anyway it was after the game I think, so I didn't watch it.

"We should concentrate on ourselves first of all, there are so many guys involved and so many opinions, which is fine, but we need to focus on ourselves and learn lessons from that.

"If we start to listen to too many people it's not worth it, honestly, I need to look at myself and think what could have been done better.

"Afterwards, it's easy to judge and easy to say words and think we are lacking something. We have to think how we can provide better performances, especially away from home, where it gets tight and difficult.

"That is all going on here. I'm not a favourite of listening too much to other guys. I haven't done that in 15 years, I'm not going to do that in my last year."

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The centre-back also urged his team to be harder to beat and show resilience after slumping to their third league defeat of the season.

"We need to be mentally tougher in front of goal. We create the chances, but sometimes we need to switch on quicker," he added.

"I believe we have that mental toughness but we need to switch on and do our thing.

"We were not good enough against Watford because we missed a chance and the majority of players were still thinking about that chance. Those things, switching on, need to be quicker.

"We had everything in place. We scored from a set-piece away from home, we protected the goal well for the first 60 minutes, we had a couple of chances to go further ahead - but we didn't.

"Then you need to be really resilient in those tight moments, and make clever decisions, but that's what we lacked basically. We want to be more clever in defending our own goal."

Arsenal’s resilience away from home will be tested in their next two fixtures, which sees them head to Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League before a Premier League clash against Everton at Goodison Park.