Returning Arsenal stars can get us in top four, says Gunner

This club has to play in Champions League, says keeper Szczesny

Wojciech Szczesny believes that Arsenal’s returning stars will give the Gunners a boost and ensure they finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

Arsenal slipped to a third successive league defeat on Sunday against Manchester United, a result that leaves them five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

But keeper Szczesny is confident that the return of a number of leading players from injury can lift the Gunners’ fortunes over the remainder of the season.

“We’ve had a poor few results recently but it’s all about working hard, staying positive and I am confident that we will win games and get up the table.

“It should be a big confidence boost for us that the likes of Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna are coming back in the next few weeks. Kieran Gibbs as well.

“They are very important players for us and if we can get them back in the team as soon as possible it will give us a lot of confidence and help us to get the results that this club deserves.”

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The Gunners take a welcome break from league action next weekend with Aston Villa heading to the Emirates for an FA Cup fourth-round tie.

And with the resumption of the Champions League to come next month and an enticing double-header with AC Milan, Szczesny believes the club can cope with battling on three fronts.

“This club has enough experience to deal with the number of games,” said the 21-year-old. “Hopefully we can deal with all the pressure that surrounds us at the moment and live up to the expectations. These fans and this club deserve better results than we have got in the last few weeks.”

Midfielder Wilshere was hoping to be back in contention for the trip to Milan on February 15, but Arsene Wenger admitted he had suffered a “small setback” in his recovery that may make that unlikely.

Wenger added that Gibbs and Sagna were “two to three weeks away”, with the manager hopeful the pair of full-backs will be fit and playing before the crunch north London derby with Spurs on February 26.