Robin van Persie has urged his Arsenal team-mates to move on from their shock defeat against QPR on Saturday and focus on the impending visit of title-chasing Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
The Gunners had stormed in to third place at the expense of Tottenham after a run of seven straight wins, but defeat at Loftus Road coupled with Spurs’ 3-1 win over Swansea on Sunday means the two sides are now level on points with Arsenal remaining in third place by virtue of having the greater goal difference by a single goal.
However Van Persie insists that Arsenal have no time to dwell on the disappointment of dropping points to a side fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table, with the Dutchman adding that the Gunners now have City in their sights as they look to secure a top four spot.
"Everyone is disappointed but towards the end of the week I am sure the spirit will be how it was," Van Persie told Arsenal Player. "We’ll have a couple of days to be disappointed but after that our focus is on Manchester City.
"It is a shame we have wait eight days for the game, but it is how it is. Losing at QPR is a big blow but we have to look forward and the next one is a big one.
"Man City are second but drew [on Saturday] so they will need the points. We have seven big games to play but if you look at the big-name teams then we have City and Chelsea. As a fan of football I always love to play those games and one of them is next week."
With just five points separating Arsenal in third and Newcastle in sixth place, the battle for a top four spot and Champions League football next season is looking increasingly likely to go down to the wire.
Arsene Wenger’s side face two tough games in their bid to secure a top four spot, with a showdown against Chelsea coming later this month after the tough weekend fixture against City.
"We have seven more games to play and I believe we can come third,” Van Persie said of his side’s run-in. “It won’t be easy, everyone is fighting for every point and our opportunity is next week.
"Even last week when we were three points ahead [in third] with eight games left we never thought it was done. [Tottenham and] Chelsea won and came closer but we have to look at ourselves."