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Jan, 18, 2012

Hill-Wood plays down impact of failure

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has played down the impact failing to qualify for the Champions League would have on the Gunners.

Arsenal face a fight to finish in the top four this campaign, with the club currently fifth in the Premier League table and four points behind Chelsea following a poor start to the term.

The Gunners have qualified for the Champions League in all of manager Arsene Wenger's full seasons in charge, but Hill-Wood admits the club have always prepared for the financial hit that would come with failing to achieve a top-four spot.

"We are hanging on in there, no more," he told the Daily Star of the club's current position. "From a financial point of view, not qualifying for the Champions League is quite a blow.

"We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it's not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could."

Arsenal slipped to a second successive loss on Sunday as they suffered a 3-2 defeat at Swansea, and defender Johan Djourou is eager for his team-mates to bounce back when they host Manchester United this weekend.

The Switzerland international told The Sun: "It's a fantastic game for us after Swansea which was difficult to swallow.

"It will be a bounce-back game. We have to turn up, we have the away game [an 8-2 defeat] still in our minds so there is revenge to take. We have to keep working hard to try to improve."

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