BURNLEY, England (AFP) - Arsene Wenger has cause to regret Arsenal's indifferent start to the season after his side belatedly hauled themselves into the Premier League title race.
Last weekend's 4-1 defeat of Liverpool moved the Gunners up to second and victory at second-bottom Burnley on Saturday will close the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points, the day before Jose Mourinho's side travel across London to face Queens Park Rangers.
The distance between the top two, together with Chelsea having a game in hand, means it would take an extraordinary turnaround for Arsenal to overhaul their capital rivals.
But there is no doubt Wenger's side have built impressive momentum since the New Year's Day loss at Southampton, winning 15 of 17 games in all competitions.
That has allowed them to overhaul Manchester United and Manchester City and all but guarantee their place in next season's Champions League but Wenger admitted their season was shaped by a disjointed opening half of the campaign.
"We had a difficult start this season compared to last year. This season, we had many players out for four or five months after the World Cup and since we have found our cohesion with everybody back, we feel we have moved forward," he said.
"We are in good form and it's interesting that we have a good team dynamic. Hopefully, we can maintain that until the end of the season, then we will see where we stand."
FA Cup holders Arsenal are set for an exciting end to the season as they are also in the last four of the knockout competition.
"We look behind us and people are chasing us; in front of us, there's quite a big distance with Chelsea but we work very hard to reduce that," said Wenger.
"What we want is to go as high as we can until the end of the season, give our best and we are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup."