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Wenger expects top-four finish

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31 Mar 2013 14:17:34

Wenger expects top-four finish

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his side to hold their nerve as they look to chase down Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.

The Gunners chalked up a sixth win in the last eight Barclays Premier League games when they saw off relegation battlers Reading 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium in what was Nigel Adkins' first match in charge of the visitors.

With Chelsea losing at Southampton, the Gunners are now just two points behind the Blues, and four off third-placed Tottenham - on whom they hold a game in hand, and Wenger said: "We have the experience, we have done it before and is what we want to do again. I am sure we will, but it demands a lot of dedication and nerves until the end."

Chelsea tackle Premier League leaders Manchester United in their FA Cup quarter-final replay on Monday as part of a hectic fixture schedule in which they also will hope to progress in the Europa League.

Wenger feels having so many key games in quick succession could work either way - but will not get overly concerned with how anyone else is set to perform.

"It can be very positive if you are on a good run, and very negative if you are in bad form," he said. "But let's just take care of the way we play, take care of our spirit and give it our all."

Ivory Coast forward Gervinho certainly did that against the Royals, firing the home side into an early lead in what was one of his best recent displays. The 25-year-old has polarised opinion among Gunners fans since his £11million move from Lille in July 2011, with a string of inconsistent displays.

Wenger feels all of his current squad have what it takes to help the club move forwards, although he will look to strengthen the group in the summer.

"Gervinho did not play for his future [against Reading], he was just playing for his club, that is what every player does," said Wenger.

"We are a group of players who want to go for it, and to go for it together. Sometimes Gervinho plays, sometimes [Theo] Walcott, sometimes [Lukas] Podolski, but we can only do it if we all have the same target and do it together."


PA

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