By Rob Kelly

Thomas Vermaelen insists Arsenal will ignore their rivals’ results during the run-in to the season as they compete for a top-three spot.

Arsène Wenger’s side moved into third for the first time on Wednesday night as they beat Everton, while Tottenham drew 1-1 with Stoke at White Hart Lane.

Despite the psychological boost of overtaking Spurs and moving six points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea, Vermaelen says the Gunners must maintain their focus for the final nine matches of the campaign.

“I am always confident - we keep winning games but we don’t look at Tottenham, we only look at ourselves,” he said.

“We have some difficult games to come. We don’t have to look at other teams because that will keep the focus away from our own performances. That’s the most important thing ­ to keep the focus on ourselves.

“At the moment we have had some good results against some difficult teams. Everton won against Man City and Tottenham at Goodison Park so it’s a great result to come here and win.

“We showed a great mentality. We won a lot of duels at the back and that’s why we got the three points.”

Vermaelen admits that Arsenal will receive a significant boost if they manage to finish in third place.

“The Champions League is important for us and third place gives you straight qualification into it, while with fourth place you have to play a qualifier,” he said.

“Third place is better but it is not going to be easy ­ there are a few games to play and not easy ones, so let’s focus on ourselves and see how far we can go.”

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22 Mar 2012