Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno insists there is no time to feel sorry for themselves after an eighth defeat of the season increased the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta.
Sunday is an unhappy first anniversary for the Gunners boss as he reflects on a 2-1 reverse at Everton which extended their winless run to seven matches and left them four points above the Premier League’s bottom three.
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer suggested he was not sure Arsenal would not be in a relegation battle this season but Leno said there was no point in the players worrying about the situation.
“Of course, there’s big disappointment, it hurts a lot,” said the German.
“It’s not the time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to stick together, we have to stay positive and this is the only way.
“We have to win games to come out of this situation and have a positive mood again.
“A lot of things are going wrong for us but we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to fight for every ball, for our team-mates.
“Now the confidence is not at the top level but the only thing that can be said is we should stick together and come out of this situation.
“I think in the second half we showed good body language, good attitude, so you can see this team is alive and we want to turn the situation around.
“We were fighting for each other, pushing each other. It is a tough time but the only thing we can analyse the game and stay positive.”
Arsenal have suffered their worst start to a season since 1974 with just 14 points from as many games and they are seven points worse off than when they sacked Unai Emery last year.
They have scored just 12 league goals and that situation was not helped by the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a calf problem which Arteta admits could be up to a couple of weeks for recovery.
The Gunners were shot-shy again against Everton – with their only goal coming via Nicolas Pepe’s penalty either side of an own goal by Rob Holding and a Yerry Mina header – and the former Arsenal and Toffees midfielder accepts that is the area which needs most attention.
“We generated a lot of situations but did not end up with big chances,” he said.
“Our conversion rate has been really low and is it something we have to improve dramatically.
“When we needed some luck we hit the post and we didn’t put some chances away.
“Normally when you are under this pressure and in this position in the table you get battered by teams but that is not the case.
“I see the spirit in the team, how they are, how they are willing to do things the right way.”
Arsenal have a break for their Premier League pressure with a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Manchester City on Tuesday and Leno hopes that game might offer some respite and inspire a fresh approach.
“Maybe in this game we don’t have the pressure like we have in the Premier League because of the table,” he added. “It is only one game and the only thing we want to do is go to the semi-final.”
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