Bernd Leno is hopeful Arsenal’s north London derby victory over Tottenham can instil ‘confidence’ in the side following the club’s ‘big problems’ earlier in the campaign.
Arsenal have endured a disappointing domestic season and endured the club’s worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign, the Gunners currently 10th in the division and 10 points adrift of the Champions League places.
Mikel Arteta’s side have since shown signs of recovery since beating Chelsea on Boxing Day, and Leno admits there was a ‘bad atmosphere’ surrounding the club following their early-season struggles.
“We were completely lacking the consistency,” Leno told Kicker. “In [the] autumn, we had big problems, a bad atmosphere… and we turned the corner.
“Now we’re at least getting a taste of the Europa League again. [To qualify for the] Champions League will be very, very difficult.”
Arsenal boosted their faint hopes of securing European football after beating Spurs in the north London derby on Sunday, coming from behind to secure three points courtesy of goals from Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette.
Leno is hopeful the win can raise confidence amongst the Gunners’ squad ahead of the Premier League run-in, whilst success in the Europa League also offers an alternative route back into the Champions League ahead of the club’s last-16 second leg with Olympiakos on Thursday.
“Hopefully, it will increase the level of confidence of the team and the belief that we can play really well against any opponent, we can beat big teams as well and just maintain everybody together with a big belief,” he said.
“We know we have to put four or five wins together in a row to give ourselves any chance of looking up in the table, but we are ready for a fight.”