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Arteta urges Arsenal calm: The Champions League is still so far away

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Arsenal look to be back in the Champions League hunt, but Mikel Arteta is aware they still "need to win a lot of games".
FotMob - about 1 year ago

Mikel Arteta is not getting carried away by Arsenal's upturn in form, despite a three-match winning run in all competitions that could soon see his previously struggling side competing for a Champions League place.

Arsenal had been enduring a dismal season and, even with improvement under Arteta, the new head coach had tasted victory only once in the Premier League heading into the clash with Newcastle United on February 16.

But the Gunners thrashed Newcastle 4-0, before winning 1-0 away at Olympiacos in the Europa League and edging Everton in a 3-2 league thriller.

Arteta's men are now just four points behind Manchester United in fifth, which could yet prove enough to qualify for the Champions League if Manchester City's European ban is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following their appeal on Wednesday.

The Arsenal head coach quickly dismissed the suggestion his focus could turn away from the Europa League solely towards domestic action, though.

"The team selection is based on training, the load of the players and what we want to do against the opponent," Arteta told a news conference of the possibility of resting players in the second leg against Olympiacos on Thursday.

"We have three different routes to get into Europe [including the FA Cup]. We have to try to maximise the three of them, and we go game by game.

"It's the only thing we can try to do at the moment. The objective is still so far behind [away].

"We need to win a lot of games. We need to put a really consistent run together. We have just won two games [in the league], which is not enough."

However, Arteta, who was awaiting further news of Sead Kolasinac's shoulder injury, has seen plenty of positives on and off the field since his December appointment.

"A lot of things have happened in two months in many different areas of the club," he said on Wednesday. "I think the team is progressing well. I think the club is looking in a better place.

"I think we are getting much more unity in the sections of the club and, as well, a great energy back from the fans each time we're playing at the Emirates and away from the Emirates.

"So, there are a lot of positive things but still a lot of things to do, things to improve, individually, collectively and as a club. We are in that process at the moment."

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