Arsene Wenger has asked fans to believe in the team and give them their full support as riling against the team when they are going through a bad patch of form is doing their title chances no good. The Gunners are currently eight points adrift of leaders Leicester City with nine games left in the season and need a shift of gigantic proportions to end their decade-long wait without the title.

Arsenal fans were on Wenger's case after the north London club wilted away in the title race, taking only a point from their last three fixtures in the league. The Gunners lost to Manchester United and Swansea while drawing against Tottenham and Wenger had to bear the brunt of the frustration that was directed at him for his failure to motivate the squad.

The atmosphere at the Emirates has been toxic of late, with fans refusing to back the team, as they struggled to score goals, notable in their 2-1 loss to Swansea, when they hit the bar thrice. However, there was reason for optimism at White Hart Lane when they came back from going 2-1 down against Tottenham, after having Francis Coquelin sent off for being booked twice on either side of the two halves.

"I prefer that the fans are happy but I'm more worried that it can get to the players' confidence level," Wenger said, as quoted by Goal. "I feel we have shown a great response as a team that we can deal with that. You can feel sorry for yourself or respond straight away next game – that's why I think the group is healthy and there's a good mentality."

The Gunners will now travel to the KC Stadium to take on Hull City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, which was taken to a replay after the Gunners failed to get the better of the Tigers at the Emirates. With the Champions League and the domestic league in the position they are in, a third FA Cup triumph in successive years remains their best chance for a trophy this season and Wenger is likely to put out a strong squad to help matters in that regard.