By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger admits that his team could have performed better over the Christmas period but he remains optimistic for the rest of the campaign.

Arsenal lost against Fulham on Monday at Craven Cottage, just two days after seeing off QPR at Emirates Stadium thanks to Robin van Persie’s 17th league goal of the season.

But Wenger has backed his team to be in the top four - at the very least - by the end of the season.

“We have a good spirit in the side,” he said. “The schedule was very tough for us and I feel as well we were really unlucky over the Christmas period. I cannot fault the players' attitude or spirit and that's why I'm still optimistic and I think in the end the quality of that spirit will come through.

“But we have many regrets over the Christmas period, on many sides and many aspects of the games. We have to take it on the chin and come back even stronger.

“We are fighting very hard to get in the top four, and if we can, to do better. We have just come out of the Christmas period with seven points but it is not good enough to fight for the championship because we should have made 12.

“That's why we cannot get involved in any considerations in the championship at the moment. I feel we have to win our own games and not speak too much.

“I think absolutely nothing [about the title race], I let other people talk and we play. We will see at the end of the season. We are in the job, we are not better predictors than the journalists. They are bad enough and we don't have to add anything else to that.

“Our target is to win the next game and the next game is in the FA Cup. As for the championship, I don't know more than you.”

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 6 Jan 2012