Arsene Wenger says Arsenal must use home advantage against Swansea
Arsenal eager to regain ground on top four
Friday 30 November 2012
Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal players to make the most of home advantage when Swansea come to Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
The Gunners, who drew 1-1 at Everton on Wednesday night, are down in seventh place, five points behind West Brom and third-placed Chelsea.
Swansea are only a point and a place below them following their midweek win over the in-form Baggies.
Wenger feels if Arsenal can make Emirates Stadium a fortress once again, they can soon close back in on the top four.
"If you look at the Premier League at the moment we have played 14 games, eight away, and now we have played at the two Liverpool clubs and the two Manchester clubs," he said.
"If we play well at home and get the results at home we have a chance to come back, that is our job now.
"We have rebuilt a new team, we have Jack Wilshere back and hopefully we can go from strength to strength.
"We have the spirit, but we have some room for improvement in the final third. Overall, though, when you have the spirit you have the chance.
"We have to show that now by being consistent."
Captain Thomas Vermaelen maintains no-one can fault the mentality of the Arsenal squad.
Defender Vermaelen insists the team are showing all the signs needed to push forwards, having extended their unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions which saw Arsenal secure a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League ahead of next week's final Group B game in Athens.
"Mentality-wise, there is nothing wrong with the team," Vermaelen said on Arsenal Player.
"Everybody works hard and there is no one who doesn't work for the team, and that will give you results, from that point of view I am very happy."
Contract rebel Theo Walcott netted inside a minute at Goodison Park, but Wenger revealed the England forward, who has just returned from a shoulder injury, was carrying an ankle problem during the second half.
Defender Laurent Koscielny is expected to be sidelined for up to a month after coming off after less than five minutes with a thigh strain.
German forward Lukas Podolski, meanwhile, missed the Everton game because of a chest infection.
Right-back Bacary Sagna is another concern.
"From Wednesday night there are lots of bumps and bruises as you might expect, but one serious doubt is Bacary Sagna with his foot," Wenger said.
"He got a knock at the start of the game when he cleared a ball. It is inflamed and he is a big doubt, but everyone else should recover."
Wenger confirmed Koscielny was set for a spell on the sidelines. He added: "It is a muscular problem, a thigh problem, that is normally three weeks."
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