Lukasz Fabianski concentrating on short-term Arsenal future

Lukasz Fabianski will stay focused on the job in hand as he looks to cement his place as Arsenal number one.

The Pole has grown in stature since deputising for injured Manuel Almunia, who suffered an elbow problem which sidelined him after the defeat to West Brom on September 25.

However, the veteran Spaniard is fast closing in on a return, although that is unlikely to be in time for Sunday's Barclays Premier League visit of Newcastle.

Fabianski produced another competent display during the 2-1 Champions League defeat away to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had long championed the potential of the 25-year-old, despite some high-profile previous blunders, and declared everyone was now seeing the real Fabianski.

The Arsenal keeper, though, will continue to concentrate on producing consistent displays rather than worrying about whether he has done enough to stay in the side on a more permanent basis.

"I always say my only thing is to keep working hard and try to play as best as I can, to try to help the team," Fabianski said.

"Of course I have been through a difficult period, but that is life, that is football.

"You have to just keep working hard and hopefully it will pay off."

Fabianski continued: "I think the reason maybe why the manager said it was because he saw every day in the training ground. Maybe he had a reason to say that.

"Even when there was a difficult time for me I was always focused on my job or I was always working hard. That is the only way I think you can achieve something.

"I just want to stay focused. That is the main thing for me, to keep working hard.

"If there is a possibility to play, I will just try to play as best I can."

Shakhtar were thrashed 5-1 at Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago, but moved level with the Gunners at the top of Group H in the battle for qualification to the last 16 of Europe's elite.

Arsenal head out to Braga later this month, before a final home game against whipping boys Partizan Belgrade.

Fabianski maintained Arsenal were still right on course for the knockout stages.

"We are in a really good position, a strong position. We will be playing again at home so we have to take advantage of that," he said.

"It would have been much better if we had at least drawn the game in Donetsk, but it didn't happen.

"We have two more games and we have to do everything to win those.

"We have to be focused, that's the main thing."

Arsenal expect to have captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) available against Newcastle, while midfielders Alex Song (calf), Denilson (groin) and Andrey Arshavin (virus) also missed the trip to Ukraine.