Jack Wilshere says Arsenal are determined not to waste all their hard work when they face Besiktas in the second leg of their Champions League play-off.
The Gunners were held to a 0-0 draw in Istanbul on Tuesday night, but remain favourites to progress to the group stages next week.
Wilshere expects another challenging game at Emirates Stadium, and has underlined the importance of securing a positive result.
"So it was always going to be a high-pressure game. It is tight. They are still in it, we are still in it and it will be a good game at the Emirates"
“We worked hard all last year,” the midfielder said. “We were in and around the top but at the end we fell off. We worked really hard to get in the top four.
“We always want to be in the Champions League, we want to attract players who can be in the Champions League and we’ve got players at the club who have to play in the Champions League.
“[Besiktas] worked just as hard as we did last year to get themselves into this position. They are not going to just turn up and throw all last year’s hard work away, similar to us.
“So it was always going to be a high-pressure game. It is tight. They are still in it, we are still in it and it will be a good game at the Emirates.
“We know it is a big game and we will treat it as a cup final. They are going to come full of confidence from their performance in the first leg and we are going to have to start how they did and take the game to them.”
German trio Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski could be back for the second leg, and Wilshere says it will give the squad a big boost.
“I think them having won the World Cup can have an impact but they have got a fantastic mentality anyway,” he said.
“Last year, you saw that – they are great characters to have in the dressing room. They are great players as well. We are looking forward to getting them back and it is going to make our squad even stronger.”
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