Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal are ready to attack a tough run of games against Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United with the same “energy and momentum” that has sent them seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners extended their lead over Manchester City with a 4-2 win at Brighton on New Year’s Eve.
Arsenal play Newcastle at Emirates Stadium next on January 3 before the north London derby away at Tottenham and then a home game against Manchester United.
Arteta called for his squad to refocus after their Brighton win but says Arsenal are relishing the challenges ahead as they target their first Premier League title since 2004.
“Now we have to focus again,” said the Arsenal manager. “We have to review the Brighton match, there were a lot of things we did really well and a lot of things to still improve and take that into the next match.
“Take this energy and momentum… we are going to play in front of our crowd [against Newcastle] and it is going to be a really special day again, and we are looking forward to it.”
Arsenal were given an unexpected boost before they kicked off at Brighton when title rivals Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Everton.
Asked whether that result had given his players a lift at the Amex, Arteta said: “You look at every result. Obviously you know what happened, but we have to focus on what we can do, which was to come here against a really difficult side and perform and win. We know that our success is going to be about what we have to do.”
Asked about the platform Arsenal have built ahead of the second half of the season, Arteta said: “This is what we want, and to keep improving as a team, play better and dominate other areas, like today when we had to suffer and we had difficulties, how we could manage the game.”