Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has denied reports of a rift with coach Steve Bould. Wenger hit back as he spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of Monday night's Premier League game at Reading, insisting the squad were fully focused despite continued negative headlines.

"We are a united staff and team. You can unfortunately not control all the lies that are written in the newspapers," Wenger said.

"I believe it is a good opportunity to show that we are strong inside the club and let people talk.

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

Wenger added: "This team cares, is serious and wants to do well, I do not question the spirit of the team.

"I have a strong squad, I believe we have a very strong team. It is down to us to prove me right."