Theo Walcott says the Arsenal camp is in a positive mood as a season-defining five weeks comes into view.
The Gunners face Blackburn in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon before the Champions League resumes on Tuesday with a tough last-sixteen clash against Bayern Munich. With league games against Aston Villa, Spurs and Everton also on the horizon the England international underlined how much the weekend’s 1-0 victory over Sunderland had increased confidence.
“It was an important win,” the England international told Arsenal.com. “The three points have us on a high and we’ve got a nice week now without any midweek game.
“A lot of players are back from international duty and need a bit of a break. Some may be rested for the FA Cup game, but that’s just as important as we want to go far in that competition. If we lost [at Sunderland], we would have been dwelling on it for so long, so I’m glad we didn’t.”
Arsenal now sit in fifth place in the table, four points behind North London rivals Spurs and a further point behind Rafa Benitez’s erratic Chelsea. Knowing that the gap could be closed if the club maintain their decent run of form, Walcott stressed that everyone is fully focused on securing Champions League qualification.
“We’re very confident [of finishing in the top four],” he continued.
“We can battle through any sort of situation. The teams around us are winning as well, but we’ve just got to make sure we look after ourselves and try to win as often as we can.
“We’ll see where we are at the end of the season but we’ve got to show the belief we did at Sunderland. I felt there were a lot of winners in that dressing room and the boys were fantastic.”
There really is no room for pant pooing now. The line between success and failure (we’re talking 4th place, not the title unfortunately) is minuscule. The win at the Stadium of Light could easily have been a draw and were it not for the heroics of Szczesny and Sagna the likes of Giroud and Walcott might have been forced to spend the week in hiding after their combined misses.
It’s good to hear confidence is high, so let’s hope we can swagger the ball into the back of the net a more times than we have in the last two games. Arseblog News’ nerves can’t take anymore of the last ditch tackles / off the line clearance stuff…