Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere insisted questioning his side's character was unfair as he leapt to the defence of his team.

Arsene Wenger's men were criticised after a 2-1 Premier League loss to Watford, with Troy Deeney accusing Arsenal of lacking "cojones".

Ahead of his side's Europa League clash with Red Star Belgrade, Wilshere said Arsenal's character should not be doubted.

"As a player if your attitude is questioned, it's horrible. I look around this team and you can't question our character," the England midfielder told a news conference.

"People try to put us down, they always have. I don't think the comments were justified. When we look back at the game we look back at ourselves and what we did wrong, I don't think we can look back and question our character.

"We did certain things wrong but we certainly didn't want to let the lead slip. We will move on. We have a game [against Red Star] and another big game at the weekend and we have seen with this team that the players can bounce back quick and we will do that.

"I'm sure individually the players are disappointed, no-one wants to hear those comments, [but] the players are entitled to their opinions and to talk, that's part of the modern-day game. We have to deal with that.

"All we can do is come back with a good performance and a good performance at the weekend."

Arsenal are top of Group H in the Europa League, while domestically they face a trip to Everton on Sunday.