Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

What Arsenal must do to finish in top four - Wenger

What Arsenal must do to finish in top four - Wenger

But against Middlesbrough they battled hard to end that dismal run, with goals from wantaway pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sealing a 2-1 win, which moves Arsenal to within seven points of the top four with a game in hand.

Seven league wins is the only way the Frenchman reckons that Arsenal can secure a Champions League place after ending a run of four away league defeats with a 2-1 victory over struggling Middlesbrough on Monday.

"We can do that, but also we will have to - had we not won against Middlesbrough I would have conceded that the top four was beyond us".

"We want to have the ball, but sometimes, when a team lacks confidence, a change in system can help them believe in something different".

"I felt that it added a bit more stability on the long balls".

"We were a bit over-cautious against Middlesbrough but hopefully the win over them will now give us more confidence", he said. "The players care. When you don't win your confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly, so of course you could feel even in the way we played that there was nervousness there".

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Asked if the reluctance of Sanchez and Özil to sign new contracts had affected Arsenal's form, Wenger gave a cryptic reply.

"Despite sometimes hard situations, or some situations that lack clarity, we still can perform". "We were tested and maybe rode our luck on one or two occasions with crosses but we were committed and the back three worked well in the first half, we were solid".

"We needed to take responsibility for that and we've done that this week between ourselves".

"We needed to go out and get back to the basics and that's making sure our commitment levels were right".

"It's a massive honour to play for a team like Arsenal. So that was the first thing we needed to get back to tonight", Oxlade-Chamberlain told Sky Sports, before paying tribute to the travelling away supporters for standing by the team. "Now we have a little break with the FA Cup (they play Manchester City on Sunday in the semi-final) and then we come back again to the league".

Boro boss Steve Agnew was hugely frustrated to take nothing from the match, but insisted that his players showed they have a chance of surviving, despite the six-point gap between them and safety. "They gave every single ounce of energy that they had throughout the 94 minutes".

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