Mathieu Flamini says the Arsenal squad’s close bond is a key factor in their success so far this season.

The Gunners will extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points if they win at Cardiff City on Saturday.

Flamini says the power of their team spirit should not be underestimated as they battle for honours this term.

The spirit on the pitch is amazing, but it is also amazing off the pitch. The whole team is living very well together

Mathieu Flamini

“This team is still very young, but also has a lot of experience,” he told Arsenal Player. “Also what is very impressive is how close the players are to each other - you can feel it and see it on the pitch because everyone is helping each other.

“That is very important, because the most difficult thing to build in a team is the spirit. What we’re doing this season is what you need.

“The spirit on the pitch is amazing, but it is also amazing off the pitch. The whole team is living very well together. It is important to know each other better, because then we can accept advice or even criticism from others. All that is for the good of the team.”

Flamini expects Cardiff to provide a stern challenge on Saturday, but says the Gunners will relish the challenge.

“We know they’re a early good team,” he said. “They have put in a lot of effort to win the ball back quickly and have been creating good surprises, like against Manchester United.

“We know it won’t be an easy game but we’ll go there, play our football and do everything we can to win the game.”

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 29 Nov 2013