Campbell predicts tough Arsenal run-in

Veteran defender Sol Campbell has warned Arsenal's youngsters not to expect an easy ride as they battle to land the Barclays Premier League title.

The Gunners are very much in the hunt for a first championship since Campbell led the 'Invincibles' of 2003/2004 following a last-gasp 2-1 victory at struggling Hull on Saturday, where Nicklas Bendtner's stoppage-time goal paved the way for the Tigers to dismiss manager Phil Brown.

Only two points now separate the top three, although Chelsea have played a game less.

Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson suggested Arsenal "might yet mount the biggest challenge" after his Manchester United side leapfrogged the Blues with victory over Fulham.

Next up for Arsene Wenger's men are relegation battlers West Ham, while Wolves and Wigan also visit the Emirates Stadium next month.

However, there is also the small matter of a clash against top-four hopefuls Manchester City and the north-London derby with Tottenham at While Hart Lane to negotiate.

Campbell - the 35-year-old former Gunners skipper, who rejoined them on a short-term deal during January - maintains there is no such thing as a soft touch in the Premier League.

"We kept fighting and got the win in the end, and we do not care as long as the win comes," Campbell told Arsenal TV Online.

"It is never easy, you have to win and earn your rights, you have to play good football - nobody is just going to give you three points in this league, no chance.

"We just have to keep focused, picking up the wins and stay in there."

Arsenal's title credentials have already been written off more than once this season, most notably following successive defeats by their direct rivals at the start of February.

Therefore, Wenger is unlikely to give too much credence to the same critics now championing his side.

Denmark striker Bendtner remains happy to let other people talk while the Gunners go about their business.

"A lot of things are said in football, a lot of comments made - everyone has their opinions," Bendtner said.

"I cannot really say what is the difference [in Arsenal this season], but we are winning and just have to keep doing that."

The 22-year-old put his own inconsistencies behind him with another crucial strike to add to the hat-trick which sunk Porto and booked Arsenal's place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Bendtner was glad to be back among the goals again, but stressed results, rather than individual performances, were the priority.

"I am happy to be scoring again after last weekend, when everything went wrong," said the Dane, who missed a string of chances in the 3-1 victory over Burnley.

"I was in all the right places but just did not finish. Sometimes this happens in football.

"Luckily, the chances which have come since, I have finished."

Bendtner told BBC Sport: "But the three points was the most important thing, whomever would have scored.

"Now we need to win the rest of our games so we can reach our targets."

Wenger is delighted his young squad have shown the strength of character to haul themselves back into the hunt following a fifth straight league win.

"With eight games - four at home, four away - left, we are still in the race, So let's have a go," the Arsenal manager declared.

"The rest of the season will be tight, interesting and exciting."

Arsenals' hard-fought win at the KC Stadium, where Hull produced a resilient effort following the dismissal of captain George Boateng at the end of the first half, was completed without the services of injured skipper Cesc Fabregas.

Wenger revealed the influential Spain midfielder could be back in contention for the visit of struggling West Ham as he nurses a hamstring problem.

Czech winger Tomas Rosicky also failed to make the trip to Hull because of a groin problem, but should be fit by the weekend.

However, centre-back William Gallas remains sidelined with a niggling calf injury, so Campbell is in line for another run-out against the Hammers.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas