Mikel Arteta is confident that Arsenal can climb the Premier League table - but only if they eradicate the mistakes that have cost them in recent weeks.
Arsène Wenger’s team returned to winning ways against Aston Villa on Saturday after a tough week had seen them knocked out of the FA Cup and beaten in the Champions League.
Arteta was impressed with the character shown by his team-mates against Paul Lambert’s men, and hopes the team can now build up momentum as the race for a top-four place intensifies.
“When they equalised, I could not believe it,” he said. “They did not even go through the middle of the park in the second half. The first time they did, on the break from our corner, they scored a goal.
“It was very disappointing but we kept trying, kept believing and I think we were rewarded at the end because we deserved to win the game.
“I don’t know if it’s nerves, but when things aren’t going in your direction, like the Blackburn game [where] you analyse the stats of the game, it’s absolutely amazing that we haven’t won the game.
“We talk about what happens but if you see the result and people are watching at home and see that Arsenal lost at home against Blackburn and are out of the FA Cup - it’s a disaster.
“But if you analyse how they won the game, it’s unbelievable and it seems to happen to us. That’s what we have to improve.
“Sometimes [mistakes come from] a bit of a lack of concentration. Or [if] a team-mate makes a mistake, the second one cannot be a mistake again.
“It seems to happen. For every small detail, the other teams are taking advantage and it’s costing us a lot of points.
“Something good that we’ve got here is that we don’t look at the other one and say ‘Look what you’ve done’ If someone makes a mistake, the team makes a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes during the game and you can’t fault a player for that.
“If it’s a lack of attitude, yes. I’m the first one to get him by the neck, because we can’t accept that. If it’s a mistake when you take a risk, that can happen.”Copyright 2013 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 24 Feb 2013