Wenger fully focused on Arsenal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants his team to focus on maintaining their own performance levels over the final nine Barclays Premier League games rather than worry about whether leaders Chelsea might slip up again.
Despite having gone out of the Champions League to Monaco on away goals after Wednesday night's 2-0 win at the Stade Louis II Stadium, with a run of eight victories from the last nine league matches, Arsenal are certainly in fine domestic form, having also progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they will face Reading at Wembley on April 18.
Following last weekend's Premier League results, which saw Manchester City lose and leaders Chelsea held to a draw at Stamford Bridge by Southampton, Blues boss Jose Mourinho declared the Gunners now back in the title race, albeit still seven points behind and having played a match more.
Arsenal will host Chelsea at the end of April, but Wenger maintains his men must first continue to deliver consistent results and not concern themselves with the form of other sides.
"At the moment we are too far away from Chelsea, but we have an opportunity every week to get closer and for that we need positive results from us, and negative results from Chelsea. The only thing we can master is positive results from us," said Wenger, who takes his team to Newcastle on Saturday.
"I believe Chelsea still has a very good cushion and very good security."
Wenger continued: "It is very tight.
"We are on the neck of Man City, but straight behind us we have Man United and Liverpool, even Tottenham and Southampton are not completely out of it.
"But we just have to focus on our performances and our strengths. I do not count on the weaknesses of any of our opponents.
"It is down to our performances until the end of the season."
German midfielder Mesut Ozil believes the Arsenal players have the needed focus to deliver.
He said on the club's official website www.arsenal.com: "In the Premier League everything is possible and we have to look forward now.
"We have important games in front of us that we want to be successful in."
Newcastle may have some selection concerns, with head coach John Carver having only some 13 fit senior outfield players, but Wenger is expecting the home support to lift the beleaguered Magpies.
"Newcastle is always very tight, very difficult games," he said.
"They always have a very motivated crowd and they always play well against us."