Clichy backs Arsenal's powers of recovery

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The Independent Football

The Arsenal full-back Gaël Clichy insists his side have the necessary "quality" to get their Premier League title campaign back on track following their defeat by Chelsea on Sunday.

Arsène Wenger's men have suffered a slump in form since moving five points clear at the top of the table and a run of four consecutive draws, followed by the 2-1 reverse at Chelsea, means they are now six points off the summit in third place. But Clichy insists the Gunners can still play their part in the title race. "We may have lost against Chelsea but we played well," said the 22-year-old. "The manager is still confident. At the moment, we are alongside Chelsea in the battle to catch Manchester United.

"They are not dropping many points at the moment but there is still a long way to go. Honestly, I think Arsenal have the quality to come back from this. We just have to work hard.

"We haven't had a lot of luck in the last few matches. We had our chances [against Chelsea] but we didn't do what we had to to win."

Clichy is crossing his fingers that he did enough in the French A team's win over Mali to convince senior coach Raymond Domenech he is worthy of a place in the squad for Euro 2008.

He produced a solid display in the 3-2 victory at the Stade Charlety, pushing forward as often as possible and helping Les Bleus keep a clean sheet before being substituted at half-time.

The 22-year-old left-back is behind Barcelona's Eric Abidal and Manchester United's Patrice Evra in the pecking order and Domenech is expected to take two players in that position to the European Championships.

Clichy is aware all he can do now is wait and see. He said: "Personally, I didn't think it went too bad for me against Mali. It was a pleasure to play here. I am still progressing as a player and there are still some things to learn on my part, but I'll continue to work hard.

"We will only learn afterwards if the match here made a difference. If I made my mark here, all the better. But I will continue to work hard and give my maximum to give myself a chance of making the squad for the Euros."

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