Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal has conceded that the north London club's slow start to the 2014/15 campaign will probably cost them the Premier League title in May, but insists the players will continue fighting right until the end of the season.
The Spanish full-back feels too many dropped points in the opening few games will ultimately ruin their chances of lifting the domestic crown, despite the fact the Gunners have won 15 out of their last 17 matches - including the last seven in a row.
Arsene Wenger's side travel to Turf Moor on Saturday hoping to close the gap on Chelsea further still and help cement their place in second spot in the table.
Jose Mourinho's team have a seven-point advantage over Arsenal and also have a game in hand on their nearest challengers.
It could've been a different story had the Gunners hit the ground running at the start of the campaign, but now they must hope that the Blues will drop points whilst they maintain their impressive record for the remaining seven games after winning just two of their opening eight matches.
“We had quite a difficult start,” Monreal explained in an interview with the London Evening Standard. “We were winning games but also losing points along the way and those points we lost earlier in the season are proving to be a problem now.
“Now we are going through a very good spell and the team are doing very well. We are bursting with confidence, playing very well and that is the vein in which we need to continue.
“Can we catch Chelsea? We will try. It is very difficult but we are only thinking about winning the next seven games. You never know. It is a dream but we can only win the next seven and see if they lose some games.”
Win or bust
Arsenal actually travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea at the end of April, and they'll almost certainly need to leave west London with all three points if they are going to have any chance of beating the Blues to the title.
Do you think the Gunners can do the unthinkable and not only close the gap but overtake Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title? Have your say below...