Wenger: Humility vital for Hull trip
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has called on his side to keep themselves grounded when they visit relegation battlers Hull tomorrow looking to maintain their title challenge.
Since successive defeats by Manchester United and Chelsea, the Gunners have put together a run of four successive league victories to haul themselves back into the title race.
There is, though, little margin for further error over the final nine games of the campaign, with just two points separating the top three sides and Chelsea having played a match less. Arsenal also cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 5-0 thrashing of Porto on Tuesday night.
Wenger, though, warned against complacency. "We have as well to be realistic, keep our feet on the ground," he said. "In the Premier League every game is as dangerous -- we have to make sure we prepare well for Hull."
Wenger continued: "We are where we are because we have shown a strong mental attitude and a good solidarity within our squad.
"Let's take care of that because that is very fragile and goes very quickly. For me that is the most important thing, that we keep our humility, work hard for each other and then we have a chance."
There has certainly been little love lost between Arsenal and Hull, who are battling for points at the opposite end of the Premier League table.
Both clubs were fined by the Football Association for failing to control their players during the match at the Emirates just before Christmas, when there was a melee after Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri appeared to tread on Richard Garcia's foot.
Last season, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas -- who is unlikely to play at the KC Stadium this weekend because of a hamstring strain -- was eventually cleared following an independent inquiry into allegations he spat at Hull assistant Brian Horton following their FA Cup quarter-final tie.
Wenger, however, maintains he is not one to hold a grudge, and has no issue with Tigers boss Phil Brown -- who had hit out at the Frenchman for refusing to shake his hand after that game. "We don't make a special fuss of anything, we just try to play football," said Wenger. "I respect everybody in life, and I don't make any special issue of that."
Wenger also gave an unreserved assurance last night that he would not leave for Real Madrid this summer.
The French manager has one year left on his contract and sent a blunt message to Madrid.
"Leave me alone," he said. "I am always going to go to the end of my contract. It is the worst moment to come back on this subject. I want to focus on the match against Hull City on Saturday. Maybe it's less glamorous than Real Madrid, but they are much more important in my life."