Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says that it suits Arsenal fine to be underdogs in the title race.

The Gunners have spent the majority of the campaign at the top of the table, yet have been discounted as serious contenders in some quarters.

The England international does not mind that though, and says it could even work in their favour during the second half of the season.

“When people are doubting you or saying you’re not capable of doing something, it gives you that motivation to prove them wrong,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.

As long as we keep that togetherness and that belief in ourselves, it is up to us how well we do this year

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

“At the same time, when you aren’t favourites you can go about your work quietly - and the most important thing is that we know what we need to do to finish where we want to finish. That’s the only thing that matters.

“The manager, the coaching staff and as a group of players, we all know what needs to be done - to keep winning games consistently.

“As long as we keep that togetherness and that belief in ourselves, it is up to us how well we do this year.”

With only nine points separating the top six, it is one of the most competitive seasons of the Premier League era and Oxlade-Chamberlain believes it will stay that way right until the end.

“This year it does seem to be really tight, especially the top half of the table,” he said. “There’s no real differentiation between the top four and the other teams.

“There is so much quality high up the league and everyone is winning when everyone else is, and at the times when teams drop points, so does everyone else.

“That is credit to the clubs that find themselves in the bottom half, because they are of high quality as well. It is a really tough year and you can’t see who is going to do well in terms of winning the league or who is going to go down. That is what makes it so exciting.”

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 22 Jan 2014