Tomas Rosicky knows more than most about the demands of a long campaign, and says it is far too early to write-off Arsenal's chances of a top-four finish this year.
The Czech Republic captain was part of the Gunners side that battled to a crucial 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Sunderland on Sunday, and stressed the importance of the result which helped to maintain the club's impressive home form.
"It was a very difficult start for us but the season is very long and I don't feel it is impossible for us," said Rosicky. "In this league, every game is very difficult and you have to fight very hard.
"Arsenal is a great club that always has to play for the top four. Even if we started badly, it must still be our aim. We need to start something positive.
"I think that's what we have started already - we had some solid results at home and that is the base. In this league everything must be built on your home form so that is what we are doing right now."
In the absence of Aaron Ramsey, Rosicky earned plaudits for his recent display in Arsene Wenger's side, but the 31-year-old midfielder reiterated his belief that an entire campaign cannot be judged on only a handful of performances, and says that the season is a marathon, not a sprint.
"Sometimes it takes time," he added. "When five players come in, in one day it is never easy.
"We have to get used to each other – and all of them are showing they are good players. It will be better and better when we gel more together."