Wenger positive ahead of decisive period
Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal should be positive as they enter the defining period of their season.
The Gunners head to Sunderland tomorrow looking to keep up with fourth-placed Chelsea, the gap now just three points following last weekend's results, which saw Wenger's men beat Blackburn Rovers 7-1 while the Blues were held to a 3-3 draw by Manchester United.
Next week, Arsenal travel to AC Milan for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie before returning to the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup fifth round on 18 February.
Although his squad has been depleted by injury, Wenger believes the Gunners can come through a make-or-break spell. "Overall the situation looks a lot more positive in a period that will decide our season and therefore it is good to have the players back," the Arsenal manager said.
"It is that important because in one week we play three games in three different competitions. In every single competition we are, of course, in a position where we want to win our games.
"Sunderland are doing well, and we have rebuilt our confidence. It is important that we go in a positive mind there and that we come back with three points."
Henry will return as agreed
Wenger confirmed Thierry Henry would be returning to New York Red Bulls as planned at the end of his loan spell, meaning the former Gunners captain will not be around for the visit of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
"There is clarification, it will be 16 February, the day after Milan," Wenger said. "I would have loved him to stay two more weeks, but he has to go back.
"He is captain of Red Bulls. Just to appear on the first day of the season would be unfair to them. We accepted at the start that we would release him on 16 February, so we respect our word. Thierry as well thinks it would be too late. He has a fantastic impact on the squad, was happy to be here and all the players were happy to have him around.
"In training, he looks better every week. He is now back to a fitness level comparable to all the other players. The movements of him in training makes me think it is a shame he does not play for the [France] national team anymore."