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Emery urges consistency as Arsenal push for top four

03:21 GMT+3 23/02/2019
Unai Emery Arsenal 2018-19
The Gunners boss has issued a challenge to his players as they seek to rediscover their best form

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has urged his players to show more consistency in order to get their top four challenge back on track. 

The Gunners embarked on a 22-game unbeaten run earlier in the season, but their form has stuttered since a 3-2 defeat at Southampton on December 16. 

Emery’s side have lost seven out of 15 matches in all competitions since then, a run that has seen them knocked out of both domestic cups. 

Away form has been a particular concern, with the Gunners’ only wins on the road in their last nine matches coming against bottom club Huddersfield and League One Blackpool in the FA Cup

The north London club beat BATE Borisov 3-0 at Emirates Stadium on Thursday to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory and progress through to the Europa League last 16. 

Emery was impressed with his side’s display against the Belarusian side and has challenged them to maintain that level of performance in upcoming games. 

“I think we also to create a good feeling with our supporters, a good atmosphere here, giving them our energy, giving them our quality and both is very important. Quality and energy, and intensity and I want to develop with this capacity in our team,” said Emery. 

“We are doing, I think here more than away from home, but consistency is my target with this team in this condition. 

“We want to take this intensity very much. At home here, we have created this, we are very demanding for every player to press, to push for 90 minutes and give the opposition a difficult 90 minutes, a hard 90 minutes here. 

“We did that here [against BATE] and we have a lot of matches but each match is a new chapter, a new challenge and Sunday I prefer to change some players if I know they are going to give us this intensity on Sunday. 

“Usually, we have players who did not play in the previous game and can help us on Sunday.” 

Despite their European progress, Emery insists the Premier League remains his main focus. 

The Gunners are currently fifth in the table ahead of Sunday’s game against Southampton, just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United

“For us, the Premier League is the first competition and we are fighting with Manchester United, with Chelsea in the same position,” added Emery. 

“Sunday is a big challenge again against Southampton, here, I want to fight here with our supporters with regularity in every match and with a big performance and on our development and that’s why Sunday is very important. 

“We are going to play after three days, after also we’re going to play Wednesday, so we will need every player. We need every player to be the focus for us, to help us in all of our matches.”