RvP: Big games will bring out our best in race for fourth
Published 22:25 01/04/12 By John Cross
Robin van Persie insists Arsenal are ready to do it the hard way in their battle to finish above bitter rivals Tottenham.
Arsenal face a three way fight with Spurs and Chelsea for third place and lost valuable ground after surrendering their seven game winning streak at Queens Park Rangers.
But van Persie claims having to face Manchester City next Sunday and with Chelsea also to come to the Emirates will bring out the best in Arsenal.
Van Persie said: “We have seven more games to play and I believe we can come third. It won’t be easy, everyone is fighting for every point and our opportunity is next week against Man City. We have to go for it and believe and we will.
“It is a shame we have to wait eight days for the game against Manchester City but it is how it is. It is a big blow but we have to look forward and the next one is a big one.
“Even last week when we were three points ahead (of Spurs) with eight games we never thought it was done. Chelsea won and came closer but we have to look at ourselves.
“Everyone is disappointed but towards the end of the week I am sure the spirit will be how it was. We’ll have a couple of days to be disappointed but after that our focus is on Manchester City.
“They are second but drew against Sunderland so they will need the points. We have seven big games to play but if you look at the big name teams then we have City and Chelsea. As a fan of football I always like to play those games and one of them is next week.”
Van Persie is the Premier League’s top scorer and by his standards is going through a drought after missing a glorious chance with the scores level at QPR.
But van Persie put the slip-up down to QPR making it hard for them and Arsenal not seizing the momentum after Theo Walcott levelled in the first half.
Van Persie added: “It was a tough game. I always thought after Theo scored his goal and we were level we could win the game. It was just a tough game.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has also set his Arsenal players a daunting target to get themselves into third place and a guaranteed Champions League.
Wenger believes they will have to repeat their impressive recent run and win their last seven remaining games after slipping up at Loftus Road.
Wenger said: “We have to win every single game now. That it is why it is so disappointing to lose.
“Manchester City is a good opportunity to put things right again of course. I believe that we will see a different Arsenal next Sunday but I can tell you as well that it will be needed.
“It is disappointing to lose a big run in the way we did. But at the end of the day, the result doesn’t lie.”