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Wenger seeks to close gap

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says a consistent run of performances will see them close the gap at the top of the English Premier League.

Arsenal are five points adrift of the automatic Champions League qualification spots after 12 games of league football.

They face a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday, seeking to extend a 14-year unbeaten at Villa Park, having not tasted defeat since 1998.

“With what’s going on in the league, the team which is able to show consistency has a chance (to move to the top),” Wenger said.

“And if we are able show consistency now I believe we have the chance to come back with the top teams.

“I am highly encouraged by that (unpredictability of Premier League). If you have a team that doesn’t drop points you think no matter what you do you will never come back once a points difference is there.

“We had a little bit of a difficult period but I think that now we can come back and show the consistency that is needed to come back (in touch).”

Arsenal also advanced to the Champions League knock-out stages for the 13th consecutive time on the back of a routine 2-0 win at home to French champions Montpellier in Group B action on Wednesday.

“It’s a massive satisfaction (qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the 13th consecutive time) because I have been criticised for not spending fortunes,” the Frenchman said.

“So to show we can do it the way we do it with the club in a good financial situation and with the players coming out from our youth development as well, I think it’s important for the game.

“I think there are different ways to be successful and I’m very happy that our way is one of them.”

Wenger also believes Rafael Benitez will do well following the Spaniard’s appointment as interim first team manager at fellow London club Chelsea.

“It’s down to Rafa, to do the job there,” he said.

“I am sure he will do well because he is a great manager.”

Thu 22 November, 2012
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