Arteta: We cannot become complacent
Mikel Arteta has warned his Arsenal team-mates that there is still plenty of work to do before they can be assured of a place in next year's Champions League.
Arsenal stretched their Barclays Premier League winning streak to seven matches on Saturday when they beat Aston Villa 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. The win means the north London club are eight points ahead of fifth place Chelsea and three points above local rivals Tottenham, who sit in fourth.
But Arteta told Arsenal Player: "If anyone thinks it's all done now, then they are making a big mistake. We can't take our foot off the pedal now."
Arsenal have to play the Blues, and title-chasing Manchester City in their remaining eight games but they also have winnable fixtures against QPR, Wolves, Wigan and Norwich.
Arteta has been delighted with the way in which his team have dragged themselves back in to the top three after their erratic early-season form, but he also knows that any complacency that creeps in to their play could prove costly.
He added: "We have won seven in a row now, which is very difficult in the Premier League nowadays, and we have done it well, playing some high-tempo football, but there are some tough, tough games coming up in our last eight matches."
Arsenal looked as if they would be nowhere near the top of the table at the start of the season when they won one of their opening five league games and another bad patch at the turn of the year left some questioning whether Arsene Wenger was still the right man to lead the club forward.
The Gunners squad are now brimming with confidence after their recent displays, however, and Arteta is happy that the Arsenal support have something to cheer about after the club's woes.
"When you are winning, life is good and you can see that the fans are enjoying it at the moment. They deserve it as well because they were behind us when things weren't going right," he said.
"Hopefully we can finish the season strongly because we have a group of players and staff who really mean business."