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Arteta demands ‘hurting’ Arsenal bounce back at Chelsea in top-four race


Arteta demands ‘hurting’ Arsenal bounce back at Chelsea in top-four race


When they visit Chelsea on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta has called on Arsenal to bounce back from a slump in form.

On Saturday, Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 loss at Southampton as they suffered a third successive Premier League defeat, the third such occasion under Arteta in three seasons.

That leaves the Gunners level on points with Manchester United, who play Liverpool on Tuesday, and three behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played a game more.

While manager Arteta acknowledged the frustrations with his side’s recent returns.

The Spaniard insists Arsenal’s desire remains intact as they fight for Champions League qualification.

He told reporters on Tuesday at a pre-match news conference:

“At this club, it’s only about winning, and they were three different games, but with the same outcome,”

“We are highly unsatisfied with that. And we know that we’re hurting, but at the same time, we know how we lost and what we merited from those games are not reflected in the amount of points that were taken.

“We have to understand why we lost those games, but there is nothing to look back on. Everything is still to play for. Our ambition is still intact. Our desire is still entire.

“We know the challenge ahead, and we will go for it.”

Arteta also suggested the mood in the Arsenal camp is still high as they prepare to face Chelsea.

“I have been obvious with why we have lost the games and then give them more support and confidence and be behind them because it is what they need and what we will need altogether between here and the end of the season,” he added.

“When things go well, it’s easy. It’s all about ‘we’, but it may be about’ him’ when things don’t go that well.

“I hate that, and I’m the first to try to apply myself to defend our players and protect them.

“And let them be who they’ve been because they’ve been pretty good, to be fair.”

Chelsea may have lost their last two home games against Brentford and Real Madrid in all competitions.

But Arteta appreciates the size of the task at Stamford Bridge.

“We have to be at our best against the best team in Europe that showed last year what they can do with everything they have and with the ability that we have,” he continued.

“We’re going to go there as always to win the match, and that is going to be our intention tomorrow when we’re at Stamford Bridge.”

Arsenal has lost their last two away league London derbies, at Brentford and Crystal Palace.

And are aiming to avoid defeating four straight league losses for the first time since March 1995 under Stewart Houston.

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