Arsene Wenger admits Top Four finish is hard for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger dismissed any concerns regarding the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil after the duo scored a goal apiece to help Arsenal record a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The win - only Arsenal's third in their past nine league games - moves the Gunners up to sixth, seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City and with a game in hand.

With their top-four hopes still alive, Oxlade-Chamberlain acknowledges that bouncing back from their recent sorry slump was crucial for Arsene Wenger's men.

For the 15 matches prior to defeat at Everton in mid-December - and even at the point they were 1-0 up in that game - Arsenal were flying high and dreaming of a first Premier League title since 2004.

"I felt that we were recently a bit vulnerable defensively and to give a bit more reassurance to the team", Wenger told Arsenal TV.

"The opponent had a bit more of the ball than we are used to [but] we lost two games, against Crystal Palace and West Brom, where we had 70 per cent possession and today we had a bit less".

"When you are in a lack of confidence situation it comes back slowly and only the results help", added the Frenchman.

Arsenal has a weekend off from the rigors of the Premier League, when it faces Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday. "That was the first thing we needed and the three points were massive".

The Gunners star, 23, said: "What we've done previously has not been good enough".

"I think due to their pride they made it a hard first half and then when they came back at us and equalised, it was a test for us".

Alexis Sanchez's first-half free-kick was cancelled out by Alvaro Negredo soon after the break, and Boro briefly looked as though they could kick on to claim a hugely valuable win in the fight against relegation.

"I felt overall we dealt well with it, in the first half".

"The players were awesome, I couldn't ask any more of them", he said. You could see that one some occasions, we were a bit over-cautious tonight. I don't think there is an urgency with that in any way. Boro are second bottom, six points adrift of safety with six games left.

Wenger continued: "The fans want to be behind the team and the way we respond on the football pitch will decide the attitude of the fans".

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