Arsenal fighting 'negative spiral' ahead of Milan clash – Koscielny

Europa League last 16, first leg – AC Milan v Arsenal
Kick-off: 18:00 GMT – Thursday, 8 March Venue: San Siro, Milan
BBC coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Arsenal are struggling to recover from a “negative spiral” caused by four successive defeats, Gunners centre-back Laurent Koscielny says.

A pair of losses to Manchester City either side of defeats by Swedish minnows Ostersunds FK and Brighton have heaped pressure on boss Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal face AC Milan in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday at the San Siro.

It represents their only realistic hope of silverware this season.

“We need to have positive voices in our heads because the brain dictates the body and the legs,” Koscielny, 32, said.

“We are in a negative spiral and it’s difficult to get out of this.”

Premier League table with leaders Manchester City 33 points ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

The run includes losing the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City, while Sunday’s defeat by Brighton left Arsenal 13 points adrift of the Premier League top four.

“When you have bad results, it’s always bad for the team,” France international Koscielny added.

“We are disappointed with how we played. We need to be together. That’s the most important. We have to be positive to have a good result and step by step we will come back stronger.”

Arsenal’s slip in Premier League form means winning the Europa League, as Manchester United did last season, is the clearest path to a return to Champions League football having missed out for the first time in 20 years last season.

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