• Champions League

Wenger: It's in our interests to finish top

ESPN staff
November 25, 2013
Arsene Wenger says he will feel guilty if Arsenal fail to finish first in their Champions League group © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger has stressed the importance of Arsenal staying first in their Champions League group, and said he would "feel guilty" if the team again got a difficult draw in the last 16 as a consequence of dropping to second.

Arsenal are currently top of a tight table, and Borussia Dortmund's home game against Napoli on Tuesday could potentially set up a three-way tie on 12 points on the last day.

Wenger is intent on reaching that number of points at the Emirates against Marseille and giving his side the best chance of both qualification and top spot.

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A different kind of training? © @DFB_Team

"The draw can be as bad if you finish first as second but you always feel when you finish second and have a bad draw, that you feel guilty," Wenger said. "At least if you do the job well, you qualify and finish first, you can say 'we have done our job like we wanted to do it'.

"It is in our interests to finish first. Don't forget, we won't neglect that if we have the opportunity to do it, but first let's go step by step, let's first qualify and, if we can, of course finish top of the group.

"We know what is at stake and we want to qualify. We know that tomorrow is a very big game in that final stage of the qualifiers.

"We have an opportunity to do it at home. You say 12 points may not be enough, it's true, but it might as well be enough and maybe already tomorrow. So let's get the 12 points."

Wenger does feel the team are well primed to do so, the mood very high after the 2-0 win over Southampton.

"I would say the recent history, the recent results of the team have been good but these results are of course linked with quality, but also linked with the quality of attitude of the players.

"It is always difficult to know if you win because the players have a good attitude or do the players have a god attitude because you win? I think you win when the players have a good approach to the game and that is what we have and the confidence is linked with the recent results."

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