Mikel Arteta has highlighted Arsenal's form away from the Emirates Stadium as proof that the north London side could challenge for Premier League title this season.
A win at Liverpool and draws at the homes of Manchester City and Stoke City have put the Gunners in fifth place in the league after the opening exchanges - and the Spanish midfielder believes that positive results at three of the most difficult away grounds in England showcase the Gunners' title-winning potential.
Stopping short of saying that his side would definitely be fighting for the title at the end of the season, Arteta challenged his team-mates to keep up their ambition and levels of performance in order to keep pace with the top teams.
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"There has been a confidence boost for everyone because we have already been to three of the toughest places you can go - Liverpool, Manchester City and Stoke - and I think we deserved to win all of them," the midfielder told the club's official website.
"Two of them we drew and one we won, but we could have won them all easily.
"It shows we are doing things in the right way. We are training well, the team is organised and ambitious, but we are not comfortable [complacent] and we want more and more each game.
"I don't know what is going to happen in the title race but, with what happened in the last few years, it is clear that we haven't won the title and we have been far from it.
"What we are trying to do is get as close as we can and keep building that belief that we are as good as the Manchester clubs.
"If we carry on until March or April when it is really tight and hang in there, I think the spirit we have got in this team can get us something."
|"If we can carry on until March or April, when it is really tight, and hang in there, the spirit in this team can get us something"
- Mikel Arteta
The Spaniard also praised the strength and depth of the Gunners' current squad following a weekend when captain Thomas Vermaelen missed out through illness and young Aaron Ramsey was drafted into midfield - observing that this could enable them to continue a title challenge amid injuries and suspensions.
"Thomas wasn't at Manchester City and Koscielny came on, Aaron Ramsey played on the right and he was superb," Arteta noted.
"It allows you to make changes but the quality and performance in the team doesn't get affected.
"That is really important because you know at some point you get injuries, you get suspensions and you need to change the team a bit. If the level keeps that high then it is a very good thing for the team."