Abou Diaby believes the midfield has a crucial role to play in helping to maintain Arsenal’s recent defensive solidity.

The Gunners have kept clean sheets in their past two games, away at Bayern Munich and Swansea City, and have impressed at the back.

Swansea did not manage one shot on target at the Liberty Stadium, and Diaby says the discipline shown in midfield played a major part in this.

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 “As a team we all defend together, but as a midfield we have a big role to play,” he told Arsenal Player.

“The midfield is the heart of the team and it is really important. They are the ones who defend and give the ball forward, defensively they give a good balance to the team. So it is very important to be strong in this area.

“If we want to succeed and win games, we need to be solid. We need to be together and that is what we have shown in the past two games.”

Arsenal head into Saturday’s game against Reading as firm favourites, and Diaby says winning their past two matches has had a major impact on the squad.

“When you win, you always get a confidence boost,” he said. “It was really important to win the Bayern game, against a big team.

“Unfortunately we didn't get through but we did beat them and they hadn't lost for some time at home - it was a really good performance from us.

“Following that, winning at Swansea was really good as well because every game from now until the end of the season is crucial.”

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 27 Mar 2013