Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted his Premier League leaders will not allow complacency to creep into their game, as they prepare for a run of fixtures that could define their season.
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The Gunners are growing used to life as league leaders after an impressive start to the season, but upcoming games against Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea -- along with a vital Champions League clash with Napoli next week -- will be key if they are to maintain their current momentum.
Wenger insists he is not concerned that his players will get carried away with their success, as he claimed the hunger to end the club’s trophy drought -- which dates back to 2005 -- will help his players to maintain their focus.
“I don’t think there is a danger [of complacency] because we are hungry, we want to win,” he said. “We have just put a few results together that will make us more ambitious, but as well conscious that in every single game you need to put a top-level performance in.
“It is a continuity as well because, since the beginning of 2013, we have been quite consistent in our results, but now we have a big week in front of us starting with Everton and we have to show we have the hunger and the quality to do it.
“We have been consistent until now, but we have three games in six days that will all be challenging. The best way to deal with it is to win the next match, enjoy it and play with solidarity.”
Arsenal’s next match comes on Sunday against Everton, who beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday, and Wenger has been impressed by Roberto Martinez’s work on Merseyside.
“He has done remarkably well because they have had some difficult games,” Wenger said. “They have played many of the big teams in the league and overall are in a very strong position.
“They have just come out of a win against Manchester United. We are lucky this season a little bit, because there is always a big warning before we play against these teams when they have exceptional results. That keeps us on our toes. We know it is a big game.”
Wenger confirmed that forward Lukas Podolski is back in training, but he is not likely to be involved against Everton as he battles back to full fitness.
“He’s been out for a long time and is still a bit short of match fitness because he had his first training session [on Friday], but it’s good news to have him back,” said Wenger, who also confirmed Bacary Sagna’s absence on Sunday.
The Arsenal players will be donating a day’s wages to the Teenage Cancer Trust this weekend as the club throws its support behind the charity.