Arsene Wenger has insisted Arsenal can still finish in the top-four of the Premier League and qualify for next season’s Champions League despite a disappointing goal-less draw at Bolton.
But the Gunners boss said every match between now and the end of the season will be like a ‘cup final’ for his side.
“Of course I’m confident of a top-four finish,” said Wenger. “There’s a long way to go but I’m confident we can come back. We’ve come through a difficult period. We’re confident but I believe we have to produce our form game by game.
“Every game now is a cup final. We go into a period where we will be playing in the FA Cup, playing in the Champions League and, combined with the league, it will be difficult.”
The draw ended a run of three consecutive defeats for the Gunners and ensured Wenger did not lose four straight league games for the first time in his 16 years as the club’s manager. However, he denied that this was the most difficult period of his remarkable Arsenal career.
“We give our best in every game, that’s what we did,” said Wenger. “What you’re most concerned about is the game you’ve just played now. You don’t come in after the game and think, ‘this is a difficult period we’re going through’.”
Elsewhere, Aston Villa drew 2-2 with QPR, while Newcastle downed Blackburn 2-0. Sunderland crushed Norwich 3-0. Fulham and West Brom drew 1-1.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2012.