Arsenal: Mikel Arteta vows to back young stars behind Gunners’ top-four push despite recent slump

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Arsenal: Mikel Arteta vows to back young stars behind Gunners’ top-four push despite recent slump
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Mikel Arteta will back the young Arsenal stars who have delivered the club into the mix for a place in the Champions League, despite three-straight defeats.

Saturday’s defeat to Southampton left the Gunners in sixth and three points off Tottenham in fourth, following their neighbours’ own surprise loss against Brighton.

With the Seagulls and Crystal Palace having also beaten Arsenal in recent weeks, Arteta could perhaps not be blamed for shaking things up in his team but he has vowed to “support” the youthful players he has continued to rely upon.

“We are in the same position as we were with one less game,” said the Spaniard. “We have to play on Wednesday and we have to lift them up.

“The task is big but the opportunity as well is so precious that we all want to do it. [I will] give all the support in the world to them because they need it. They are 19, 20, 21 years old most of them and that is what they need.

“We are who we are but at the end you have to win the matches and, if you want to be there, that has to be defined in the boxes.”

Arteta admitted after the defeat at St Mary’s that his dressing room was “really down” as it continued their slump.

He said: “They are really down today and they are down because they cannot find the right answers, apart from what we can do better around the box, not to win the match. That’s the frustration.

“When somebody is better you shake their hands and you have to do something, you have to be critical with yourself.

“But when it is happening the way it is happening, apart from 25 minutes against Palace and some periods against Brighton in the first-half, it’s very difficult to explain and accept.”

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