Olivier Giroud plans to "harden myself mentally" in a bid to reclaim a first-team place at Arsenal -- and feels he still has the backing of Arsene Wenger.

The France striker has lost his place in the Gunners side to Theo Walcott over recent weeks and last started a match for Arsenal in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at the Emirates at the end of August.

Walcott's inclusion in the side ahead of Giroud looks to be paying off at the moment after the England man put in arguably his best performance for the club in the 3-0 win over Manchester United.

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Walcott admits he's added an aggressive streak to improve his game and become Arsenal's number one striker.

Giroud admits he's not used to being on the bench, but is refusing to get too downhearted and insists he still feels Gunners boss Wenger believes in him.

"It is something new for me. Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start.

"I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. I cannot simply take refuge in work. At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo (Walcott) for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

"I was in his place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me."

"It has been for several matches now that I have played less, that is for sure, but I do not need to be worried. I need a bit more game time but also to believe more in my abilities."