Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud believes the Gunners can beat rivals Tottenham to third place in the Premier League this season. However, the French international warned his team mates they would have to maintain the impressive run of form they are on at present.
The Emirates club have won five of their last six league games and are fifth in the table, two points behind Chelsea and four from Spurs. However, both the Gunners and the Blues have a game in hand over Andre Villas-Boas' men.
"There are eight games to play and a lot of points to play for. I trust in our qualities. So I really think we can make fourth and maybe even third place if we continue to play like we did today. We take the games one by one," the summer signing from Montpellier explained.
Giroud has 10 goals and three assists from 29 league games for Arsenal this season and 16 strikes from 42 games in all competitions. The Frenchman had a difficult first few months since signing from the French club but now seems to have found his feet in north London.
"Spurs have to play against Manchester City and Chelsea so it's hard games for them. But every game is difficult, we can see [on Saturday] that Chelsea lost in Southampton. We have to keep focused, concentrated and strong," he continued.
The Gunners have had a disastrous season so far - they have been eliminated from the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. Worse still, they are a staggering 24 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, a gap that illustrates the work Arsene Wenger needs to do to return his side to winning ways.
However, the fact Arsenal have nothing but the league to focus on for the next few months could help the club.
Chelsea are in the midst of a horrendously packed schedule of games; the Stamford Bridge club travelled to St Mary's on Saturday, will now host United at the Bridge in a FA Cup replay and then play Russians Rubin Kazan in a UEFA Europa League quarter final tie, with a league game against Sunderland sandwiched in between. Tottenham are almost similarly stretched, with four games in the first 10 days of April.
Nevertheless, Giroud feels the club must focus on things they can control rather than rely on help from external factors. And one of the points he made was defensive discipline.
"We need to be more concentrated when we are defending, because we need more clean sheets because we dominate the games. We want to be ambitious and keep our focus. We want to dictate the games. We are confident. We are used to finishing the Premier League season well. And again this season we will do the same," he said.