Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta believes the club’s “mini pre-season” in Dubai will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the campaign.
The Gunners have spent the last few days in the United Arab Emirates, making the most of having no Premier League fixture last weekend.
Newcastle are Arsenal’s first opponents after the mid-season break, with Steve Bruce’s side visiting on Sunday.
It will be the start of a hectic schedule for Arteta’s side with games coming in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup between now and the start of March.
The Spaniard hopes the warm-weather training camp in the Middle East helps get his ideas across quicker to ensure they start moving up the table from 10th position.
“We cannot be any happier with the conditions for us to train,” he said. “We came here to work, it was like a mini pre-season.
“I wanted to use it to work on our principles and our styles of play, and as well how we live together.
We have been working really hard. We have been working on things that will be good for us over the next few months.Mikel Arteta
“There are things I want to implement together as a group, not just for the players but for the staff as well. It has been really useful.
“We had good reason to come here. We are really happy that we made that decision. We came here to work, it was not a holiday.
“We have been working really hard. We have been working on things that will be good for us over the next few months.”
New boss Arteta has only tasted defeat once since replacing Unai Emery in the hotseat at the end of 2019.
But victories have been harder to come by, with four consecutive draws in Premier League and their last top-flight win against Manchester United on January 1.
It leaves Arsenal 10 points off the top four and Champions League qualification appears a long shot.
Arteta added: “I want to go game by game. At the moment we are far from it, but there are a lot of games to play.
“It is very tight. Everybody is giving points away. It will depend on us. If we are able to put three or four wins in a row, we will be much closer.”
The initial goal for the former Arsenal midfielder will be to get the Gunners back into Europe’s elite competition and then they can start challenging for the title again.
After helping Manchester City win the Premier League during the last two seasons as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, Arteta is well judged to know what it takes to guide a team to the championship.
On what Arsenal need to achieve that, the 37-year-old said: “100 points? Maybe 105 points? We can do it in many different ways.
“At the moment we are far from it, but we need to go step by step because this club deserves nothing else than that.”
Arsenal’s next three league games are at the Emirates and it provides them with a great chance to put together a winning run.
Even though Arteta has only claimed three victories since taking charge on December 20, he has been delighted with the commitment of his squad.
“The biggest surprise and nicest surprise is the input that the players put in,” he added.
“How much they are buying into what we do. The effort they are putting in and the willingness. They seem ready, with the right energy and commitment to move forward.”