Theo Walcott admits Arsenal really had to “dig in” against Leicester City as they moved back into the top four.

Laurent Koscielny put the Gunners in front and the England international doubled their advantage with a sharp finish for his third goal in four games.

But the visitors reduced the arrears through Andrej Kramaric and put Arsène Wenger’s under real pressure in a tense finale.

At these crucial stages in the season it is always important to get the three points and we managed to dig in and get the result

Theo Walcott

“They were probably one of the best teams to come to the Emirates this season and they performed very positively,” Walcott told Arsenal Player. “They counter-attacked very strongly and very quickly and to be honest we were holding on.

“Our first goal came from a corner and it might not have been quite deserved because Leicester played well in patches in the first half. But we managed to take our chances when given the opportunity.

“For my finish, Mesut had a very good shot and Schwarzer may have thought he had dealt with it but I just hit it cleanly and sometimes they fly in and sometimes they don’t - luckily for me it went in.

“At these crucial stages in the season it is always important to get the three points and we managed to dig in and get the result. We need to move on from it now.”

Arsenal host Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, and Walcott says they will have to improve if they are to progress.

“It is a great opportunity when you consider the teams that have gone out [of the competition],” he said. “But Middlesbrough will be tough, they are doing well in the Championship and they might be very similar to Leicester.

“They will be a threat, we can’t take them for granted. We need to study their game very closely because if they watched our game here they will fancy [playing] us. We have to make sure we are completely on it because it will be nice for the fans to have a Wembley trip again.”

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Rob Kelly 11 Feb 2015