Wenger admits that team lacked confidence at Goodison

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Chris Parry
He said:

"The team were never themselves and hadn't forgotten the defeat from last season. I feel that the mental shock we got last season here was still there, we were never ourselves and that played a part in the game for us. We were timid at times.

"It was a huge shock then, much bigger than I expected it to be, we were never really ourselves this time around.

"I said I thought it was out of our system, but I can be wrong. We just tried to preserve the 1-0 without taking any chances. But we did not have our usual confidence this time to stick to our game, when they forced us to play a different game."

He went on to say:

"It was the kind of night you know what to expect after 10 minutes. They decided to lift the ball into the air and make a fight of it. We were edgy, nervous and did not have our usual stability to keep the ball.

"We put ourselves under pressure because we did not keep the ball, and the slightest mistake creates danger. The longer you go without scoring the second goal the more worrying it is. (and we all know about that - we're used to it! - Ed)

"Everton never gave up, they fought very hard and forced us into a game we did not like. That kind of game disrupted us mentally as well as football-wise."