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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Arsene warns Gunners they cannot 'relax'

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has demanded his side show the "hunger" of champions at Manchester United tomorrow.

The Gunners head to Old Trafford on the back of an impressive 1-0 Champions League victory at Borussia Dortmund which put them on course for qualification from Group F.

Even though Arsenal beat second-placed Liverpool 2-0 last weekend to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League, time will tell whether Wenger's squad can last the distance.

Earlier this week, United forward Wayne Rooney highlighted Arsenal's failure to maintain their form through the business end in recent times.

While Wenger is too experienced to pay much attention to mind games, the Frenchman understands it will now be down to how much his squad believe in themselves to end almost a decade without a trophy.

"Usually after Christmas we have been very strong every season. For the rest, the comments are the comments – nobody knows what will happen in the future," said Wenger.

He could have England midfielder Jack Wilshere back in his squad at United, following an ankle problem.

"We have made a lot of improvements at the back in our defensive game and we have done well in the last two games, but there is a lot to do," said Wenger.

"We cannot come to the conclusion that we are in a position where we can relax.

"We have won nothing at all, we have just won two games, and what is important is what we achieve in the future."

Arsenal will face former captain Robin van Persie, the Holland forward having left the Emirates in 2012 for £24million and scored 26 goals as Alex Ferguson's men won the title.

Wenger admits it does not sit well to see the player he signed as a 20-year-old from Feyenoord in the red of United, claiming "for me he is an Arsenal man".

The Frenchman also feels it will be "a bit strange" to take on a United side at Old Trafford without Ferguson.

United manager David Moyes endured a tough start to his new job, but the Red Devils are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.

Wenger said: "David Moyes has shown great competence at Everton, so you need to leave him time to really get a grip on Man United, and he is slowly doing that. You see it now in the results."

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