By Nick Teale
Andrey Arshavin believes Arsenal's injury problems have made their season more difficult.
But the Russian says the Gunners will "fight again" next season, especially if they can maintain the winning spirit that has seen them score more late goals than any other Premier League team this term.
The midfielder suffered a calf injury in the first leg of the Champions League Quarter-Final against Barcelona and has not featured for the Gunners since.
Last week manager Arsène Wenger said that the 28-year-old has a "50:50" chance of returning to action this weekend. In an exclusive interview with Arsenal.com the Russian confirmed that his rehabilitation is going well.
"I am recovering and I hope to be back for Manchester City," he told the Club's official website.
"This season has been tough, tight, sometimes it was even difficult for me and my team but in general it was not bad. Hopefully we will win the last three games."
The Gunners have scored more late goals than any other Premier League side this season, a quality Arshavin believes could help Arsenal to success next term.
"We have got a lot of goals at the end of the games, we managed to do some comebacks and we have to use that spirit next season. We can fight again next season," he said.
Arshavin's injury forced him out of the away trips to Barcelona and Tottenham and the Russian explained that the most difficult aspect of being sidelined was the helpless feeling he had when the Gunners weren't winning.
"It was a shame for me, " he said. "I was watching as my team was losing but it was a shame because I could not help my team-mates."
The defeat at Tottenham marked the return of Robin van Persie. The Dutch striker missed five months of the season due to ankle ligament damage and Arshavin says the 26-year-old showed what Arsenal have missed with his performance in the North London derby.
"Unfortunately it [Van Persie's return] is slightly too late to win a trophy," he said. "Some of Robin's shots were difficult to save but Gomes has done it. It helped Tottenham to beat us for the first time in 11 years [in the Premier League].
"He had a big impact last season and he has done well before his injury, so he is showing his quality.
"It would be easier for us [if we had not had the injuries]. I cannot say we would be champions but it would be easier for us."
Andrey Arshavin wears the new Nike Mercurial Superfly II that features an ‘adaptive stud' that extends and retracts by 3mm, designed for explosive acceleration.
Tear up the Pitch, visit www.nikefootball.com.Copyright 2017 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