Per Mertesacker welcomes schedule break for Arsenal

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Per Mertesacker believes the break in Arsenal's schedule has come just at the right time as the team need to pull together ahead of the season run-in.

The Gunners suffered a derby day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, which has seen them fall seven points behind their north London rivals. Arsene Wenger's side are also five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Arsenal don't play another game until their trip to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 second leg on Wednesday 13 March, as their Premier League clash with Everton has had to be rearranged because of the Toffees' commitments in the FA Cup.

The nine-day break without a game has come at a perfect time for Arsenal, according to the German international centre back, who scored his second north London derby goal at the weekend. And, he insists the team need to re-group and get mentally prepared for the big push at the end of the season.

"We need this breather now," he told the London Evening Standard. "We have 9 days until our next game so we can think about our situation. Of course there is potential but we need to show that.

"That's what we need in the next few weeks. To go to Munich, to show responsibility for the Champions League, take the chance there and afterwards we have to take care about the league and try to go for all points.

"We were good in the beginning (against Spurs) but we need to maintain that level and that's what we are lacking all the time, that consistency over 90 minutes or at least to keep a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes."

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