Arsène Wenger has spoken of his pride in seeing Arsenal fight back to take the race for a top-four place to the final day of the season.

The Gunners were written off by many observers after their defeat in the north London derby to Tottenham at the start of March.

However, a superb nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League has propelled them into fourth place ahead of Sunday’s trip to Newcastle United.

“I had the feeling that it could go to the last day,” Wenger said. “I know for a long time when we were seven points behind that we would all be happy that it goes to the last day.

“We are in a position nobody expected us to be in. We have our destiny in our hands, our fate in our hands and that's what you fight for in the game.

“It's a game that we now want to win but at least we fought back to be in a position where we are masters of our own fate.”

Arsenal are top of the form guide, having taken 20 points out of a possible 24 and Wenger has been delighted with the progress his side have made.

“It shows that the job that the team has done is very good because they have improved throughout the season,” he said.

“The players have been absolutely marvellous in their focus, in their desire to improve. The results show that we have improved from the start of the season to the second part of the season.”

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Rob Kelly 17 May 2013