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The Gunners left-back has hailed his team-mates for sealing Champions League qualification on the final day, insisting a settled squad saw them triumph over rivals Tottenham

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs believes familiarity in the club's ranks towards the end of last season helped seal Champions League football on the final day over rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners found themselves seven points behind Spurs with just 10 games remaining but mounted a late-season surge for a second season running to surpass their neighbours.

Gibbs puts his side's resurgence down to the settled line-up manager Arsene Wenger established, which leaves the left-back confident of further improvement heading into the new season.

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"In the end, there was a combination of realising what we wanted from the season and of the players getting to know each other more," he told the club's official website. "As time went on, we started to gel as a team. That was important and it puts us in good stead for next term.

"We were a new-look side, with new signings that had to come in and step up. It is never easy to come straight into the Premier League and perform as some of our players have."

A narrow 1-0 win over Newcastle on the final day of the season saw Arsenal clinch a place in Europe's elite cup competition for a 16th successive term, and Gibbs says the hard-fought win epitomised the battling qualities the Gunners displayed during the campaign.

"When there was a bit of stoppage time, we heard that [Tottenham] had scored so we knew it was important to get the job done and win the game," Gibbs added. "We didn’t go there to focus on Tottenham anyway - it was about us.

"The game was a test of the character that I think we showed throughout the season, and in the end we deserved to come away with the win."

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