Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Arsenal must keep focus, says Mathieu Flamini

Mathieu Flamini wants another winning run

Aiming high: Mathieu Flamini wants another winning runMIDFIELDER Mathieu Flamini has warned Arsenal cannot afford to lose focus as they face up to a run of fixtures which will test just how far they have come this season.

The Gunners missed the chance to take full advantage of slip-ups by Barclays Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

There is, however, little time for Arsene Wenger and his squad to dwell on what might have been as they now face a trip to Napoli for their final Champions League group match before returning to tackle City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

They then face a showdown with their west-London neighbours on December 23 as the festive fixtures get into full swing.

Flamini, who came on as a second-half substitute against Everton, feels Arsenal must focus on delivering another run of consistent displays as they look to maintain their five-point cushion at the top of the league heading into a hectic set of games.

"It is a great feeling (to be five points clear), but the championship is long and we still have a lot of teams to play," said the combative 29-year-old Frenchman, who rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer after being released by AC Milan.

"Now it is important just to focus on game after game, because we have another big match away to Napoli, and then play at Manchester City, so everything goes very quick in the championship, especially when you have so many games.

"It is going to be a busy period for us and we just have to keep our focus.

"What would be good for us will be three victories, but we know it is not going to be easy because we will be playing three big teams with a lot of quality.

"This busy period is also going to be important for the players, that we can recover as soon as possible because we play already on Wednesday, but it will be interesting to see what happens after these three games."

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