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Arsenal margin for error is very small, says Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Friday, December 7, 2012
2:57 PM

Manager Arsene Wenger accepts Arsenal hcannot afford to drop too many more points if they are to force their way back up the Premier League table.

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The home defeat by Swansea last weekend made it just two wins in eight matches since the international break as the Gunners slumped to 10th place.

While Wenger maintains there is plenty of time left to make up the gap on the top four - which currently stands at five points - the Arsenal manager knows his beleaguered team cannot produce many more below-par performances as they prepare to tackle fifth-placed West Brom at Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

“The danger of our situation is the margin for error is very small, but it is also a good opportunity to show we can be consistent, and I believe we can be,” Wenger said.

“Let’s not go overboard. We have 24 games to play, we are in all the competitions, how many clubs would love to [be], so it is down to us to make the season right and to turn the season around well on our side.

“I am confident we will and I believe we have the quality to do it.”

Midfielder Mikel Arteta was one of several first-team regulars to miss the midweek Champions League trip to Olympiakos, where a 2-1 defeat saw the Gunners miss out on top spot in Group B and with it seeding for the last 16.

The Spaniard revealed the squad were determined to put matters right tomorrow, with many having worked overtime at London Colney, analysing recent performances on DVD.

Wenger is confident of the desired response. He said: “There is one thing I don’t question and that is the attitude and spirit of this team.

“But I can say that all day - what is important is that we win the game when we play, and that is what we want to do.

“We were a bit jaded [against Swansea], even if that is not accepted by many players, because we had two away games after the Champions League.

“I am confident we have refreshed and can show that tomorrow.”

Arsenal supporters have been restless in recent weeks following a string of flat performances at Emirates Stadium after the 5-2 thrashing of north-London rivals Tottenham.

Wenger added: “At home I feel there is a lack of freedom to play. That is always our strength, we are a creative team who wants to go forward.

“Therefore [the] only thing now is to get the fans behind the team. To get the fans behind the team, the attitude has to come from us and [we have to] be united and turn that around.”

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