Football

Freddie Ljungberg believes Arsenal can still finish in the top 4

Arsenal's interim manager Freddie Ljungberg believes the Gunners can still finish in the English Premier League's top four, despite a 2-2 draw at Norwich City on Sunday that extended the club's winless EPL streak to six games.

The former Arsenal midfielder was in charge for the first time after Unai Emery's sacking last Friday and watched skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice level for his side.

There were plenty of positives for Ljungberg, but Arsenal's defensive frailties would not have escaped him as struggling Norwich punished the visitors with first-half goals by Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell.

Arsenal are enduring their longest winless league run in a single season since 1994 and are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in eighth spot.

They have not won in all competitions for eight games but Ljungberg remained upbeat.

"100 per cent," the Swede said when asked if Arsenal could still mount a top-four challenge.

"People drop points here and there and we drop points, it's a crazy league at the moment. I hope and think Arsenal can finish in the top four."

Ljungberg said ideally he would have "five or six weeks" to get his ideas across to the players but, with a home match against Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday morning (Singapore time) before a trip to West Ham United three days later, he does not have that luxury.

After Aubameyang's second equaliser early in the second half, it was actually Norwich who looked the more likely winners as the game finished wide open.

Ljungberg said tightening up all over the pitch was an area that his side needed to work on.

"We have problems in transitions, and that's what I will try to fix," he said, adding that he wanted Arsenal to have more possession and deny their opponents as many chances to shoot.

One of the names who have been linked with the permanent job at the Emirates is Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers.

With the Foxes winning their last six matches in a row after a last-gasp 2-1 win over Everton yesterday morning (Singapore time), it is no wonder that his name has popped up. But Rodgers said he has unfinished business with Leicester.

"My main focus is very much with Leicester. They've been first class with me," he said, while confirming he has a release clause in his contract.

"I left a club (Celtic) eight months ago and now there's a huge challenge for us which is finishing in the top six. We have more work to do and I am excited about that." - REUTERS

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