Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal not to let their "decisive step" towards automatic Champions League qualification with victory over Manchester United count for nothing if they lose at Stoke.
The Gunners head to Britannia Stadium holding a five-point cushion over FA Cup finalists Manchester City, who have a match in hand.
Wenger knows given his team still have a mathematical chance of overtaking United and Chelsea, who clash at Old Trafford, there can be no more off days if the season is to end with some sense of relative achievement, and said: "The first step was to be in the top four and last Sunday was a decisive step for that."
He added: "Now, we go step-by-step and the next step is to be in the top three.
"We are not there yet, we have the advantage over Manchester City, but only if we win our games and we will do absolutely everything to be in there."
Wenger insists Arsenal must not concern themselves whether or not Stoke will have one eye on the FA Cup final date against City at Wembley next Saturday.
"We have to focus on our performance," he said.
"We had a good performance against Manchester United and let's produce another one without us expecting them to weaken."
With Arsenal again looking set for what would be a sixth campaign without silverware, Wenger knows his summer transfer moves will be scrutinised more than ever.
"We have a very young team and we want to strengthen the team," he said. "Number wise, how much that will be I don't know. It depends as well who goes out, we have a big squad."
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