Belfast Telegraph

Arsene Wenger advises squad to forget late title charge

By Jim van Wijk

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his squad to put any dreams of a late surge for the Barclays Premier League title to bed and focus instead on the cold reality of winning at Burnley today.

The Gunners head to Turf Moor in search of what would be an eighth straight league victory, following on from last weekend's 4-1 triumph over Liverpool.

Despite their superb run, which has seen confidence grow after some 15 wins in the last 17 through all competitions, the title remains Chelsea's to lose, as the leaders currently hold a seven-point advantage and also a match in hand.

While some Gunners fans may have allowed themselves a little bit of fantasy football results over the run-in, which will see Chelsea come to the Emirates Stadium on April 26 and also play both Manchester United and Liverpool, Wenger remains very much focused on the job in hand.

"I have enough experience to know that I have to live with reality and reality is points and the next game," he said.

"The dreams are for everybody - we all have dreams at night, but when I wake up in the morning I have to come here and make sure we give everything to win the next game."

Wenger continued: "Chelsea have a difficult schedule, we have a difficult schedule, but what we can only do is master our own.

"What we want is to go as high as we can until the end of the season, give our best and we are also in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

"So we are at an important moment of the Premier League season and it is a period where you show your quality by focusing on the next game and maintain the quality.

"Of course we want to continue to progress and improve - we can learn from victory as well and everything was not perfect in our last game."

Arsenal's injury problems look to have finally eased, with midfielders Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby all having stepped up their rehabilitation from injury, along with full-back Mathieu Debuchy.

England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, though, continues to be hampered by an inflamed groin, while centre-half Laurent Koscielny will face a fitness test on his thigh problem.

Belfast Telegraph


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