Bacary Sagna targets top spot for Arsenal in Champions League

 

Defender Bacary Sagna has targeted maximum points from Arsenal's three remaining Champions League matches as the north Londoners look to make amends for their recent poor form.

The Gunners face Group B leaders Schalke this evening just a fortnight after suffering a 2-0 home defeat to the German outfit on home soil.

The loss was one of a number of poor recent results Arsene Wenger's side have suffered, but they could regain control of their European group with three points at the Veltins Arena tonight.

"We are professional footballers and we want to finish first," Sagna said.

"We want to win the maximum amount of games. This is big challenge now to be the best in the group.

"But as players we always want to be the best. It would mean we play against a team who finish second in their group.

"But at this stage of the competition every team is good. So we have to keep focused on our team, keep going and keep working hard."

Tomorrow's game will be Sagna's first Champions League appearance since facing AC Milan in March.

The France international missed the start of the season as he recovered from a broken leg, with Carl Jenkinson deputising at right-back in his place.

It is a position the 20-year-old has flourished in and Sagna expects serious competition for the right-back spot from his team-mate.

"We always have the same battle and that is to fight for the shirt at Arsenal and bring the team to the top," he said.

"I am very happy for him because he did very well. For me it will push me to give the maximum game by game.

"I have the opportunity now so I will give the maximum. If he is playing then I will push him to become one of the best right-backs and that is what he has the potential to be."

It is Sagna, though, that is likely to start in Gelsenkirchen as Arsenal look to put their recent slump behind them.

Wenger believes it is confidence rather than his side's defence that has resulted in the downturn and is hoping for a change in fortunes at Schalke.

"I believe that if you look at our overall performance we are indeed good, we are still the best defence in the league," the Arsenal boss said.

"If you look at the goals conceded, I believe at the moment we don't have to focus too much on that.

"I think what is most important is that we find our game back. Our game is about creating chances, about going forward, about having an offensive drive.

"That at the moment is a bit missing so the most important thing.

"I believe I have a team of great players and at the moment they have forgotten it a little bit how good they are.

"What is most important is that we play again with our enthusiasm, desire to create chances and enjoy our game, more than about do we concede a goal or not. That is the most important thing."

PA

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