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Apr 2, 2012

RVP ready step up race for third

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie is confident his side can win the battle for third place in the Premier League, despite seeing their phenomenal run of wins in the league come to an end at the weekend.

• Wenger: No excuses in defeat
• Blog: No time to count chickens

After seven wins on the bounce in the Premier League the Gunners finally fell to defeat against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, and Tottenham's victory over Swansea drew the sides level on points with Arsenal ahead and in third by virtue of goal difference.

Next up for Arsene Wenger's side is a visit from title-chasing Manchester City, and with Chelsea also due a trip to the Emirates Stadium in April Arsenal face a tough run-in as they seek automatic qualification for next season's Champions League. That will only serve to motivate them says Van Persie.

"We have seven more games to play and I believe we can come third. It won't be easy, everyone is fighting for every point and our opportunity is next week against Man City. We have to go for it and believe and we will," said the Dutchman.

"It is a shame we have to wait eight days for the game against Manchester City but it is how it is. It is a big blow but we have to look forward and the next one is a big one.

"Even last week when we were three points ahead (of Spurs) with eight games we never thought it was done. Chelsea won and came closer but we have to look at ourselves.

"Everyone is disappointed but towards the end of the week I am sure the spirit will be how it was. We'll have a couple of days to be disappointed but after that our focus is on Manchester City.

"They are second but drew against Sunderland so they will need the points. We have seven big games to play but if you look at the big name teams then we have City and Chelsea. As a fan of football I always like to play those games and one of them is next week."

Wenger said it is imperative that his team now win all seven of their remaining games in order to secure third.

"We have to win every single game now. That it is why it is so disappointing to lose," said the Frenchman in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat at QPR.

"Manchester City is a good opportunity to put things right again of course. I believe that we will see a different Arsenal next Sunday but I can tell you as well that it will be needed.

"It is disappointing to lose a big run in the way we did. But at the end of the day, the result doesn't lie."

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