Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta not worried by Antonio Conte's 'mind games'

Tom Gott
Arteta is focusing on his own team
Arteta is focusing on his own team / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted that he is not buying into the 'mind games' from Tottenham's Antonio Conte as the race for the Champions League qualification hots up.

Spurs have moved ahead of Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League standings, but the two sides are level on points and Arteta's men still have two games in hand over their rivals - leading to Conte proclaiming that it would be a 'miracle' if his side finished in the top four.

Arteta was asked about Conte's comments and, more specifically, whether he was feeling the pressure from the Italian, but he did his best to keep his composure.

"I don’t know," he laughed. "That is a question for [Conte].

"But what we want to do is very clear, and the perception of what people think is not going to change it. I do it [mind games] more with my players, I think. I do it more with the players, if I have to. To get what I want from them."

Arteta was then asked to elaborate on what he does with his players, to which he bluntly responded: "No, because they will know what they are doing and that is the whole point."

While Arsenal have more opportunities to pick up points this season, Spurs' run of fixtures seems to be more favourable on paper.

The rearranged north London derby between the two sides looks to be an enormous fixture in the race for Champions League football. The Gunners are one of just three remaining opponents for Spurs who currently sit in the top half of the table, alongside Liverpool and ninth-placed Leicester.

As for Arsenal, they still have to play Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham towards the end of this month.