ARSENAL captain Cesc Fabregas is refusing to accept their title challenge is over, and has urged his team-mates to prove the doubters wrong against Chelsea on Sunday.
A crushing 3-1 loss at home to Manchester United at the weekend has left the Gunners five points behind the Blues, and feeling utterly deflated.
Even Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin admits “it is getting even harder to believe” they can scoop the Premier League title.
But Fabregas believes they can claw their way back into contention if they bounce back with victory at Stamford Bridge.
“With all my respect, I really do not care what people think about us,” said the Spain midfielder.
“We have to be positive. It is very easy to say we lost to Manchester United and let our heads go down. We have to be strong, be together more than ever and do our best until the end of the season.
“It is going to be difficult definitely, but no-one said it is going to be easy. Chelsea is never a good game to have, even if you are eight points clear or eight points behind. We have to beat them to stay in the title race.
“We started losing there last season, but we scored twice [and won 2-1]. That means in football it is so difficult to predict what is going to happen. So let’s be positive and see if we can get a result there.”
But while Fabregas was looking on the bright side, Russian star Arshavin couldn’t hide his disappointment of Sunday’s defeat. “It is getting even harder to believe that we can win first place after such defeats,” he said.
“I divide the games with Aston Villa, Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool into two parts – the first part has been held, there are still two more games, I hope we will conduct them better.”