Jack Wilshere has hailed Arsenal’s character after their late victory against Cardiff City sent them back to the top of the table.

Having seen Manchester City leapfrog them earlier in the day by beating Swansea City, the Gunners were under pressure to respond at Emirates Stadium.

Arsène Wenger’s side missed a host of chances before Nicklas Bendtner finally made the breakthrough in the 89th minute, and Theo Walcott added a second.

It’s always nice to win a game like that and take it into the next one - it gives us all a little boost

Jack Wilshere

“It was nice, all we wanted today was the three points,” Wilshere said. “We tried and tried in the first half and it didn’t work, and in the second half we got a bit frustrated but [the goals] came in the end.

“If we had only got a point out of the game we would have been very disappointed. It’s always nice to win a game like that and take it into the next one - it gives us all a little boost.

“We kept digging away and showed great character. It’s tough when you’re on top but keep missing chances but then Nik came on and fair play to him because he’s worked hard in training and got the goal for us. That gave us some breathing space and then Theo got the second one.”

The victory sent the Gunners back to the summit of the Premier League, but Wilshere insists there is still a long way to go of the season.

“It’s very open - we saw City win earlier in the day, and then Chelsea and Liverpool also won so we just have to keep winning ourselves,” he said.

“We just have to worry about ourselves, we can’t worry about anyone else. But there is still a long way to go, teams are going to drop points.

“This is the tough part of the season - January, February and March - and then it comes into April and towards the end, so we have to focus on ourselves and our own form. Our away form has been brilliant, so we have to make the Emirates a fortress.”

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Rob Kelly 1 Jan 2014