Steve Bould insists that Arsenal are excited about the rest of the season and fully focused on putting points on the board in the Premier League even though their chances of securing a position in the top four look slim.
Many have tipped Arsene Wenger to increasingly rotate his squad so that his best players are available for the Europa League, however, despite that competition being the Gunners best chance of a return to the Champions League, Bould maintains that the liveliness of the players in training is proof that they are prepared for all the challenges ahead, both at home and abroad.
“It’s definitely countdown [time],” he told Arsenal Player.
“It’s important that we concentrate on league games, people keep talking about the Europa League, but we need some wins in the Premier League. That’s where out focus is at our present time.
“I don’t think there’s any fatigue. Fatigue is when you’ve not got anything to strive for.
“We’ve still got an awful lot to do and I think there’s a bit of excitement actually.
“Training has been really lively this week with the 10 or so boys who have been here. I don’t think they’re just looking towards the end of the season for a holiday.
“The worst thing in the world, if you’ve got to win a football game, is to get beaten in the one before. It’s just a fact that confidence drops.
“It’s a big game for us against Stoke. We need the three points, a bit of confidence, see if we can improve our form with a view to the Europa League. Really, though, Sunday’s the focus.”
Arsenal are currently eight points behind Chelsea who are above them in fifth and a further five points adrift of Sp*rs in fourth. The Gunners have never come lower than fifth in the table during Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the club.