Football

Arsenal boss hails improved atmosphere

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes a more positive atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium this season is proving beneficial to his players as they attempt to finally end their trophy drought.

The north London club are top of the Premier League after 13 matches played, four points ahead of their nearest challengers, and on the brink of qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Arsenal did, however, begin the campaign in less than satisfactory fashion, with a 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa resulting in the players being booed from the field of play by their own fans.

It was one of several instances in the not so distant past where Gunners supporters had felt compelled to vent their frustrations, with other similar incidents the previous season, and Wenger is thankful that the atmosphere has improved in the last year or so.

"There is certainly more support from the stands than this time last year,” Wenger told reporters.

"It will be a massive advantage because when we have a difficult patch during a game, our fans feel it and support in response.

"Last year it was moaning when we had a weak period. You feel that. Of course it gives the players more belief and more desire."

Arsenal meet Hull City at the Emirates on Wednesday evening presented with an opportunity to further reinforce their position at the summit of the league table.

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