Rob Holding urges Arsenal not be distracted by crucial Tottenham derby with Leeds clash up first

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Rob Holding urges Arsenal not be distracted by crucial Tottenham derby with Leeds clash up first
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Rob Holding has warned his Arsenal team-mates not to get distracted by next week’s Champions League decider against Tottenham ahead of their meeting with Leeds.

Arsenal are currently sat fourth in the Premier League table, two points ahead of Spurs in fifth with four games left to play this season.

The rivals are set to go head to head a week on Thursday (May 12) in a match that is being billed as one of the biggest north London derbies in recent history.

Holding admits the Arsenal squad are well aware that game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will have a huge say on who qualifies for the Champions League, but the centre-back has also urged his team-mates not to allow it to distract them as Leeds visit the Emirates on Sunday.

“We have got to take it a game at a time,” Holding told Standard Sport, when asked about the north London derby. “Obviously we have got Leeds at the weekend and that’s always an intense game.

“They come and bring energy. It will be a tough game, but we are at home with the fans behind us and we can try to chalk up another three points.

Rob Holding has warned Arsenal not to look past Leeds with a crucial north London derby looming (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Rob Holding has warned Arsenal not to look past Leeds with a crucial north London derby looming (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“Then the following week on the Thursday we have Tottenham, so that’s what it’ll come down to and it should be a good game.”

Arsenal and Tottenham have been neck and neck in the top-four race, and they momentarily swapped places on Sunday after Spurs beat Leicester in the early kick-off.

The Gunners responded by defeating West Ham and have now won three games on the spin after initially losing the same number of matches at the start of April.

Those wins have come against Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham, with Holding partly putting the turnaround down to Arsenal supporters sticking by the team during a difficult spell.

“I think since Mikel [Arteta] has come in there has been a big change in mentality and connecting with the fans,” he said. “I think on Sunday the fans were amazing again and they have been for the last couple of weeks, in terms of away games and at home.

“That’s why our results have been decent since those three that we lost. We bounced back and they stuck by us. It could have been an easy point to turn on us, but they stuck by us and we’ve had three good results now.”

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