Unai Emery says squad rotation will be important this week as Arsenal look to build on their 2-0 win over Southampton with further positive results over Bournemouth and Sp*rs.
The Spaniard made six changes from the side that beat BATE Borisov 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday but that didn’t upset his side’s rhythm as they comfortably defeated the Saints courtesy of first half strikes from Alex Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
After the game, the boss admitted he was pleased his side had climbed to fourth in the Premier League, but he made clear that his squad will have to work as a collective if the are to secure a Champions League place.
“For us it’s positive, but it’s not changing our idea or our way,” Emery told his post-game press conference.
“(We are taking things) game by game and Wednesday we want another three important points against Bournemouth.
“I think we can use these moments and different players to get good paces and fresh players with energy and quality.
“We need the mix to reserve some players for some matches, because we are going to play a lot of matches.
“We started Thursday, then today, Wednesday and after Saturday, so it’s important to play with a big performance like today when we can change some players in the first XI.”
He added: “We have the habit to play a lot of matches in one week. I think today I am happy because I said to them, Thursday I was very proud of them after how they worked in a very difficult match for the result.
“Also it was a dangerous match with the result of the first leg losing 1-0. Today we decided to do some changes in the squad and it’s very important to carry on with our intensity and performance with different players.
“We need to be together and we can feel stronger with every player, and the possibility of using different players in different matches with the intensity that we want to play.”
While the Europa League represents another viable route back to European football’s top table, the boss made clear that the 11 remaining Premier League games will continue to be a priority.
“For us the first competition is the Premier League because it’s giving us the possibility to be consistent,” he said.
“It’s the first target for us, but also the Europa League. The Premier League is giving us consistency and at the moment I think we are feeling strong at home.
“Away in the last match we won away at Huddersfield, but I think we need more consistency away. We know that.”