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'It's good people realise it isn't easy' - Wenger feels Arsenal fans took top four for granted

Goal.com logo Goal.com 04-04-2017

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal fans have been taking a top-four finish for granted in recent years and feels their struggles this season are proof that qualifying for the Champions League is by no means an easy feat.

The Gunners last finished outside the top four in 1995-96, when they had to settle for fifth place the season before Wenger's arrival.

However, Arsenal now sit sixth in the table with 10 games left and are in real danger of missing out on Champions League football for the first time under Wenger.

The Frenchman refuses to throw in the towel just yet, though, and hopes a strong run in April can see them bridge the seven-point gap to fourth.

Bellerin: Top four there for the taking

"Top four is still perfectly possible. It is a challenge. We have done it for 20 years and it always seemed easy. It is good people now realise it is not as easy as it always looked," said Wenger.

"I tell myself to finish as high as possible. We are fighting to have a positive end of season. That is why you want the fans to stand behind the team. Let’s finish as strong as we can. Let’s show our mental resilience.

"I give my best in every game. We need a strong run, there are a lot of games in April. We still have everything left to play for."

Arsenal will be hoping to add three points to their tally when they take on West Ham on Wednesday, but they will have to make do without the services of Laurent Koscielny, who suffered an Achilles problem in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City and is set to undergo a scan.

"[Alex Oxlade]-Chamberlain and [Aaron] Ramsey have a test Tuesday. There is a good chance they are back in the squad," Wenger added.

"Apart from that we lose Koscielny. For how long? I do not know. He has a scan on Tuesday. It could be a week, but it could also be a number of weeks.

Wenger bemused by Alexis panic

"[Petr] Cech is still unavailable, he could return on Monday against Crystal Palace.

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"[Per] Mertesacker is available to play. He could be in the squad."

The Gunners won 5-1 at Upton Park in December, when Alexis Sanchez scored a second-half hat-trick.

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