Per Mertesacker believes it is “vital” for Arsenal to be among the Champions League spots at the end of the season.

Arsenal boosted their Premier League hopes with a battling win over Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on Sunday thanks to Robin van Persie’s brilliant brace.

Mertesacker believes he is growing into life at the Club and says the team too must grow and improve to mix with the sides at the top of the division.

“It's vital that we reach at least the top four in the league, but at the moment we don't have the points to speak about that,” he told the Official Matchday Programme.

“It's important to perform well to make sure we move up the table. The supporters have to feel we are giving everything to succeed.

“I am here to play football, to play in the Champions League and I want to be successful in all the challenges we face this season.

“Therefore we have to play hard games twice a week and that's the challenge of being an Arsenal player.”

The full interview with Per can be found in Sunday's Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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17 Oct 2011