Abou Diaby believes keeping calm and “serene” is the key to securing a top-four place this season.

The Gunners are fifth in the table, five points behind north London rivals Tottenham, and have Everton and Liverpool in hot pursuit.

Diaby admits the competition is “intense” but says Arsenal have what it takes to secure a Champions League spot.

“I'm really confident because we have everything to finish in the top four,” he told Arsenal Player. “At the moment we are not [in there] so we need to keep going, play well and win games to make sure.

“It is really intense because there are more than four teams [going for it] - there are maybe six teams who could be in the top four. It will be a big fight and I think it will go to the end of the season.

“It is really important to stay calm because we know that when you are nervous you don't produce something good. When you’re calm you can produce something really efficient, so we must work in serenity and play our game.”

Having finished strongly to claim third place last season, Diaby believes Arsène Wenger’s men are well-equipped to produce a repeat performance.

“Last year people did not expect us to be in the top four and in the end we finished third. We need to come with the same mentality this year and prove our potential,” he said.

“I still think we could finish second because we are only nine points off, but we are really far off first so that will be very hard. But we just need to play, enjoy our game and keep winning and everything will be okay.”

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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 21 Feb 2013