Bacary Sagna will glean some positives from Arsenal's season - even if it's hard to escape the doom and gloom at the moment.

Emphatic home defeats against Manchester United and Chelsea ended Arsenal's quests for the Champions League trophy and a top-three finish in the Premier League. Their FA Cup hopes were also extinguished by Chelsea last month.

A season's climax which promised so much has delivered so little but Sagna believes Arsenal have proved some critics wrong with their recovery from a slow start to the campaign. At one point a top-four place looked beyond the Gunners but, ultimately, they secured that goal with room to spare.

"I just want to say that up to now we have played well," Sagna told the Official Matchday Programme.

"Even if people wanted us to waver at the beginning of the season, we have showed good character to come back after a bad run and qualify for at least the qualifying stages of next season’s Champions League.

"We were a long way off fourth place at one point and we responded. We have to look forward because the team is young and we need to stay strong together.”

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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12 May 2009