Wenger: Destiny in our own hands
By Football News
Arsene Wenger knows Arsenal's destiny is in their own hands as they travel to Newcastle aware that a win will secure a top-four finish.
Having started the Premier League season strongly, Arsenal's form dipped in October and November which threatened a top-four finish, but a return to winning ways in the second-half of the campaign has left them in pole position to claim a UEFA Champions League spot.
They go into their final game with Newcastle knowing a win will guarantee fourth place, and a third-placed finish is still not out of the question providing results go their way.
Wenger was pleased with the form shown by his team and called on his players to maintain their focus and finish the campaign strongly by qualifying for their 16th consecutive UEFA Champions League.
"We are on a very strong run," he said. "Recently we have shown (that in) these (recent) games, let's continue to do that.
"We've fought back to be in a position where we have our destiny in our hands. The team have improved throughout the season. The players have been absolutely marvellous."
North London rivals Tottenham are the team they are fighting with for fourth place, but Wenger admitted he will not be keeping up-to-date with how their game with Sunderland is going and will concentrate on winning their match instead.
"I will just focus on our game," he continued. "This is a period where you have to deal with the nerves of the players and the environment. That's a big part of it. It's down to the mental strength of the players.
"No matter what happens on Sunday, I will keep a fantastic memory of this team."
The Frenchman also revealed that talks with Auxerre over the transfer of Yaya Sanogo were progressing well, but no deal had been finalised for the 20-year-old striker.
Sanogo has scored eight goals in 11 appearances for the French second division club this season, and could move to the Emirates on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract with the club.