By Chris Harris
Per Mertesacker says Arsenal have no room for error as they look to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
A win against Montpellier on Wednesday night would be enough for Arsène Wenger's side to reach the knockout stage provided Schalke beat Olympiacos in Germany.
But any other scenario would leave the Gunners needing the right result in Greece next month to guarantee qualification.
"We have to get good results now, there is no space for weak games or for another home defeat," said Mertesacker.
"We are completely concentrated on this game [against Montpellier] and we have to take this stage as Arsenal have done in [previous] years. This is a very important game for the team. In this part of the season, it is vital to win games. We want to climb up the league table and be in the last 16 of the Champions League.
"We need Schalke to win as well. The group is still open for the teams, and we have to show we can go through and make clear that Arsenal will go to the next round. We need another good result for us."
Mertesacker helped Arsenal open the season with three clean sheets but they have managed just one shut-out in the past 15 games. It's understandably a record he wants to improve.
"We had some great team performances, especially at the start of the season when we had three consecutive clean sheets," said the defender. "We managed it well as a team.
"After two international breaks, were struggling a bit with our defensive play. We needed a great game, or a good game, to get our confidence back. We had that game on Saturday, so we have to focus now on what we have done this season.
“That is the main part of our game now: the team performance and the focus on our defensive level."
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