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Feb 10, 2013

Wenger: We cannot afford to drop points

Arsene Wenger has demanded his Arsenal players do not drop any more points if they want to be playing Champions League football next season.

• Blog: Sagna and Szczesny star

The Gunners kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sunderland on Saturday.

Tottenham's victory at home to Newcastle, however, means Wenger's men are still four points behind their north London rivals, who sit in fourth place.

And with the likes of Everton and Liverpool, as well as third-placed Chelsea, also involved in the fight for a place in Europe's elite competition, Wenger knows his team will need more victories like Saturday's.

"We were under pressure to win, and of course we could not afford to drop points," he said. "I said that after the Chelsea game, we are in a situation where we cannot drop points any more. No matter where we play, we need the three points.''

Wenger was delighted with the way his makeshift defence performed against Sunderland - which included full-back Bacary Sagna deputising at centre-half - although he was less pleased with the performace at the other end of the pitch.

"We lacked efficiency in our finishing, we didn't finish what we created. But we create, and that's positive," he said. "Sometimes, it's like that. If you look at our games, we score five, seven and suddenly sometimes none, because maybe this team is developing and learning and needs to be a bit more efficient.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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