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Wenger: We would deserve third
Published : 12 May 2012 14:17:04
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels third place in the Barclays Premier League would be just reward for his squad's strength.
The Gunners head to West Brom on Sunday knowing destiny is once again in their own hands, with victory guaranteeing automatic qualification for the Champions League.
"It will be a great achievement if we manage to do it. I believe it would be reward for a group which has exceptional strength," Wenger told Arsenal Player.
Given the disastrous start to the domestic campaign which saw four defeats from seven matches - including a humiliating 8-2 thrashing at Manchester United - to even be in this position is an achievement in itself.
Despite both Tottenham and Arsenal being able to point to opportunities missed to have already sewn up third place ahead of what is set to be a nail-biting final day, Wenger feels the way his squad responded through such times is testament to their character.
He said: "They have come through some difficult times, always recovered and always battled. Therefore I will be extremely delighted when we do it."
The French boss added: "There is even more uncertainty because fourth place is not this time necessarily in the Champions League.
"Let's make sure we finish third and win our game - that is the only answer we can give.
"To do that of course you need a full, committed performance from everybody. On that front I am quite sure we will get that from our players and then we will have a very good chance to do it."
Arsenal lost full-back Bacary Sagna to a broken leg during last weekend's thrilling 3-3 draw with Norwich. England winger Theo Walcott could return to action at The Hawthorns in front of new national team boss Roy Hodgson if he shakes off a hamstring problem, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is expected to feature despite a troublesome back.