Arsène Wenger insists the pressure on his side this season is far less than last term when they were battling to secure a top-four place.

The Gunners are enjoying a much-improved campaign and are currently top of the table going into Saturday’s match against Fulham at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger is backing his squad to handle the tension at the top, and believes last season placed greater strain on them as there was no margin for error.

“It was much more difficult last year because when you’re fifth or sixth, you have to push and not make any mistake,” said Wenger. “You knew that from now until the end of the season, you cannot drop one point.

It is like bringing a boat into a port with no room for going an inch right or left or the whole boat explodes

Arsène Wenger

"It is like bringing a boat into a port with no room for going an inch right or left or the whole boat explodes.

"When you are in our position today it is natural motivation, a natural incitement to go. It is easier psychologically.”

Wenger believes that the summer signing of Mesut Ozil has changed perceptions of the Club in a positive way.

"We have gone from a club who looked like they did not have the ambition to be able to fight,” he said. “What has changed, with bringing players like Ozil in and not losing our players, is that suddenly people believe again that we can fight.

“What we can do in every window is spend the money we have available. Having said that we are not in a situation where we are bankrupt now. We are still strong.

“You know the policy will be exactly the same, but the resources available will be higher and bigger because we have gone through a period where we had to pay our stadium back.

"Today that weight is smaller in our budget because the rest of the income has become much bigger. Of course, it is very exciting to be able to fight and keep your players.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 17 Jan 2014