Arsene Wenger insists there is no rift with Arsenal assistant Steve Bould

Bould was said to be 'furious' with the rumours

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said this morning there was no rift between him and his assistant Steve Bould.

Reports had surfaced of problems in the working relationship between Wenger and his backroom staff, as the Gunners' season hit a new low in midweek with the defeat to npower League Two side Bradford in the Capital One Cup.

The Frenchman dismissed any notion of a problem, however.

"We are a united staff team. We cannot control lies which are written," he said.

"What is important for us now is the future, how we do in the Premier League, the Champions League and FA Cup, not whether we are out of the Capital One Cup or not.

"We all look to the future.

"I believe we have a strong squad and it is up to them to show I am right."

Wenger hopes Arsenal will provide the required response when they head to struggling Reading on Monday night, aiming to close back up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

"I believe it's a good opportunity to show that we are strong inside the club and let people talk," said Wenger.

"We are criticised when our results are not good, we have to take that on the chin. That we have to face a lot of lies is less acceptable."

Wenger added: "We are top professional people. What is important is what happens tomorrow, not what happened yesterday.

"We are sorry for that [the Bradford loss], but what is important is the next game. The squad should just focus on the next game."

Arsenal should have striker Olivier Giroud in contention again following a back problem, while defender Laurent Koscielny has resumed training after his thigh injury.

England winger Theo Walcott (calf) continues to be assessed.

Wenger, meanwhile, reported "slow progress" on the recover of France midfielder Abou Diaby, who has been sidelined by a muscular problem since the end of September.

"I cannot give you any fixed date because we are a bit in no man's land on that front," said the Arsenal manager.

"He is working, but we are waiting for him to come back. He is not ready."

PA

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