Arsene Wenger says that securing a place in the top three would demonstrate the progress his side have made this season.
The Gunners can seal automatic entry to next season’s Champions League with victory at Manchester United on Sunday.
The Arsenal manager says doing so would show how far they have come, with the added bonus of avoiding a European qualifier this summer.
"We feel we have made progress, but we have a good opportunity to show that on Sunday because in every game that is questioned"
“Yes of course [I have seen enough to think we can challenge] but that's what is at stake until the end of the season, to show that we can be stronger next year,” said Wenger. “We feel we have made progress, but we have a good opportunity to show that on Sunday because in every game that is questioned.
“Only one thing shows you have made progress and that is the continuity in your performances, and that you have a good level of cohesion. I believe as well that the way we respond to our disappointment on Monday night is a big indication of how strong we are.
“It’s very important for your season preparations to not have that kind of stress [about the Champions League qualifier] over your head from the first day you start again - it’s vital. The consequences are always dramatic if you don’t qualify.
“What is even more important now is that the international competitions force you
most of the time to start the new season without your players.
“You cannot give them a long enough rest when they have played international games. You know that in England we have no break in the winter. That’s sometimes difficult to deal with.”
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