Belfast Telegraph

Wenger wants an easier ride

Arsene Wenger hopes Arsenal do not put his emotions through the mangle again when they look to continue their winning run at Everton tonight.

The Gunners head to Goodison Park on the back of five straight Barclays Premier League wins which have catapulted them up into the top four. Arsenal have come from behind in four of those games, the latest with a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Thomas Vermaelen to beat Newcastle 2-1 at Emirates Stadium last Monday night.

"Every time we were behind and every time we have shown outstanding spirit. It is not fantastic for your emotions, but overall when it finishes well you accept to suffer," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

"If that is the price we have to pay we are ready, but you just want to continue with the same attitude because I don't believe in luck too much on that side of the game. If you come back it is because you fight and if you fight you have a chance to come back. So let's fight first."

Should results go their way this week, Arsenal could find themselves in third place ahead of the next round of fixtures, which see rivals Tottenham travel to Chelsea. Wenger accepts there is little margin for error in the battle for Champions League qualification.

"It is so fragile that it is just down to the next performance. Therefore that is what you want to focus on," he said.

"We had a little bit of a breather because we could come out of the Newcastle game and not play for nine days basically so it is important for us to focus again and keep the momentum going."

Wenger added: "It is a key time. The fixtures are difficult for Arsenal, for Chelsea, for Tottenham. It will be about who does the best and who does the best will be the team who focuses on the next game, on the next result and on the next quality of the game. That is what we want to do of course, just focus on our next game and try to do as well as we can."

Midfielder Mikel Arteta will return to Goodison for the first time since his summer transfer and Wenger has been impressed by the way the Spanish midfielder has adapted quickly to a new club.

"He always gives you a certain level of quality, is always 100% focused and committed, that is what you want from a real professional, and also he brings the best out of other players," Wenger said.

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