Olivier Giroud targets maximum points in upcoming Arsenal fixtures

Striker enjoying rich vein of form

Striker Olivier Giroud has challenged his Arsenal team-mates to maintain their “hunger” as they aim to enjoy a successful end to the season.

The in-form France striker netted a brace for the second time in a week as Arsenal beat Brighton 3-2 in their FA Cup fourth-round tie at the Amex Stadium.

It was a tough test of character for Arsene Wenger's side, who eventually came through after the introduction of England duo Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, whose deflected effort with five minutes left proved decisive.

Giroud maintains if the Gunners are to force their way back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League and look to continue their FA Cup run in the quest for a long-overdue trophy, they have to produce the same efforts in every game.

He said: "We didn't start the game as we wanted because we didn't put in a good commitment and not really enough determination.

"I play better not when I am angry, but with determination, this is very important in football.

"When you don't have the hunger you can't play very well and succeed. You need it.

"It is very important for me and for all of the team, and you saw it again against Brighton.

"We want to get six points against Liverpool and Stoke to reach Tottenham and fourth place (in the Premier League), then we will play and see where we get."

Giroud, 26, continues to grow into his role at the head of the Arsenal attack following a £13million summer move from Montpellier.

The France striker enjoys the unique challenges of the hustle and bustle of the English top flight.

"I chose this championship because there is more intensity, more physically, you have to be ready in the athletic way," he said.

"I like it, but I like to play good football as well."

Wenger believes Giroud offers his Arsenal side an attacking focus which they have not had for a while.

"Giroud could have played 20 years ago in England, 10 years ago and today," said the Arsenal manager.

"He is all you need to play as a centre-forward, a physical presence. Usually we would go for a more mobile player, but he gives us something different.

"Without him, it would have been difficult."

Wenger made half a dozen changes at the Amex Stadium as he looks to keep the players fresh for some key upcoming fixtures.

Captain Thomas Vermaelen is expected to recover from an ankle injury to be back in contention against Liverpool on Wednesday.

Midfielder Santi Cazorla was left on the bench yesterday with concerns over a thigh problem.

Wenger revealed: "It would have been risky to play him. It was cautious, they told me if he played there was a good chance he could be injured, but he should be all right (for Wednesday)."

PA

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