Wenger: We must make most of Villa slip

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Football News

Arsene Wenger has called on his Arsenal players to make the most of the lifeline handed by an unexpected slip from Aston Villa when they take on bottom club West Brom on Tuesday night.

With the gap on fourth place still six points following Stoke's remarkable fight back in the closing minutes on Sunday, Wenger is all too aware of the importance of getting a win against the Baggies who are scrapping for their top-flight survival.

"It was a very big surprise for me," said the Gunners boss. "I think that Villa have lost a big opportunity to put us eight points behind and we want to take advantage of that."

Arsenal, though, head to The Hawthorns on the back of four Barclays Premier League games without finding the net, which is the club's worst run since Wenger has been at the helm.

"It is down to our consistency, I have said that many times," he added. "The problem is that in our environment the present situation is definite, but life is movement and football moves quicker than life.

"There is more pressure on Villa, us and everybody - maybe not only Villa are catchable. We have to put performances in to make us come back as quickly as possible."

A combination of poor choices in front of goal and inspired goalkeeping from Mark Schwarzer prevented Arsenal scoring against Fulham on Saturday. The team was booed off at the final whistle and some fans even directed their frustrations at Wenger following a fourth successive goalless draw.

Wenger, though, believes his squad have it in them to put the finishing touches to their free-flowing football - just as Manchester United have done to pull clear at the top of the table while showing their resilience to beat Tottenham on penalties and lift the Carling Cup at Wembley.

"They [United] don't think about it. The trophies flow in for them at the moment, so it is all natural for them," Wenger said.

"Even on Sunday [in the final] they were so convinced they would win it in the end because they have no doubt. They put themselves in that position. We were in that position as well, we just need to continue to focus."

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Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
Stoke City
Mark Schwarzer
League Cup
Premier League
Manchester United
Aston Villa

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