Robin van Persie believes Arsenal can focus on the positives despite the disappointment of seeing their title aspirations all but ended by Tottenham on Wednesday night.
The Gunners went down 2-1 at White Hart Lane and now find themselves six points behind leaders Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League with four games to play, but van Persie believes the fact Arsenal have remained in contention until this stage of the season underlines the improvement they have made in the last 12 months.
"Definitely, if you look at last year," said the Dutchman. "No-one really expected this. But when you are this close you really want to win it. When you don't do that it is frustrating."
Van Persie, who returned to action after a five-month injury lay-off as a second-half substitute in midweek, added: "It felt good and I am happy to be back. But when you are there and your team is behind you want to do something to help them.
"Unfortunately I could not do that."
Manager Arsene Wenger admitted after the game the north London side's title aspirations were badly hit by the loss - something echoed by Van Persie.
He told www.arsenal.com: "I don't think Chelsea will drop more than six points now."
The defeat was compounded by Thomas Vermaelen sustaining a calf strain which could see the defender miss the rest of the season while Denilson is a doubt for the trip to Wigan on Sunday.
Wenger told Arsenal TV Online: "We have to assess Denilson a little bit.
"He has a tight groin. I don't think we lost anyone else from Wednesday night [apart from Vermaelen]. I have no more news about him. But it looks like three weeks and that means the season is over for him."