Premier League - Gibbs encouraged by Gunners finish

England defender Keiran Gibbs has warned Arsenal can only get stronger next season after winning eight of their final 10 Barclays Premier League matches to secure a top-four finish - and with it another shot at the Champions League.

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Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal

The Gunners overhauled a seven-point deficit on north London rivals Tottenham following their superb run-in, which was kick-started by a memorable victory at Bayern Munich as they bowed out of Europe.

While Arsenal still have to negotiate a potentially tricky two-legged qualifier in August before they can focus on a remarkable 16th campaign of Champions League football, yesterday's 1-0 win at Newcastle gave the club a completely different outlook from the one they faced after defeat at White Hart Lane on March 3.

Gibbs feels the confidence Arsene Wenger's squad will gain from the last two months can enable them to go the distance in 2013/2014.

"We would have liked to have had a better season, but I think overall you have to be happy with the way the team got back together after December and showed real character, yet again, to come back and finish where we want to be," Gibbs said in the London Evening Standard.

"We were a new-look side for another season, again, with new signings that have had to come in and step up.

"It is never easy to just come straight into the Premier League and perform like some of our good players have.

"In the end, there was a combination of us needing to realise what we wanted from the season and the players starting to get to know each other more. As time went on, we started to gel.

"That was important and it puts us in good stead for next season because I believe the team have gelled because of this.

"The dramatic finale makes us even stronger and we are going into next season head on."

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