Wenger eyes fourth spot

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has set his sights on catching Aston Villa in the race for a Champions League spot - after admitting recent failings in front of goal have ended their hopes of challenging for the Barclays Premier League title.

The Gunners ended a four-game run without a league goal with an emphatic 3-1 win at bottom club West Brom at the Hawthorns, with Nicklas Bendtner netting twice to take his tally for the season to 11.

Wenger said: "It's a strange situation. We created as many chances against West Brom as we have done in many games. We are on a long unbeaten run since the beginning of November. I still believe that in the few draws we had, if we'd taken those chances, we would still be in the title race. But now we want to focus on reducing the gap to Aston Villa and other teams and try to win our games."

The Arsenal fans chanted Wenger's name in contrast to the boos that rang out at the Emirates Stadium after the goalless draw with Fulham at the weekend.

He said: "That is very nice. Our away fans have always been great. But I really don't have a problem with the fans being disappointed.

"That's normal. I never complain about that. We are in a job where it is down to us to make people happy - not the other way around.

"We have always to keep the priorities right. When you do not manage that, I can understand that people aren't happy."

It was a similar scenario for Bendtner, who has not always been the most popular figure among fans, but only a post denied him a hat-trick against Tony Mowbray's side.

Wenger said: "It's different when you play for Arsenal. You are being compared to the players who played five, six or ten years ago. But you have to accept that a guy of 19 or 20 years old will be better every three, six months.

"He has shown at West Brom that he has the talent to be an Arsenal player. That is the right way to mature. I liked his presence. I liked his determined attitude and the way he took people on. That shows he has improved."

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West Bromwich Albion
European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Aston Villa
Nicklas Bendtner

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