Wilshere upbeat ahead of run-in

Arsene Wenger???s side go into Saturday???s FA Cup semi-final against Reading on the back of eight successive league wins, which has lifted them into second place, seven points behind Chelsea.

The England midfielder played for the U21s earlier this week, coincidently against Reading, as he continues to recover from an ankle injury which has sidelined him since last November.

“Training here with the quality and intensity, that is what I need coming back??from injury,” he said.

“You can play as much as you want in the U21s, but you cannot get that??intensity of the Premier League. In training here, the little eight-a-side and keep balls is top level, and??that is what I need.??

“Everyone looks forward to the training sessions, it is short and sharp, everyone is fighting for a position in the team and you can really tell that.

“We have added real quality, world-class players to the??squad and the main thing here is the team ethic. You can see that we have a great atmosphere around, everyone wants to work??for one another and we go into every game knowing we can create chances if we??stay strong defensively and win the ball higher up.”

Manager Arsene Wenger is expected to make changes to his side for at Wembley, but after being run close by Wigan last season, Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal cannot be complacent.

“We felt pressure last season a lot, because no one expected us to lose, for Wigan to go through and that will be the case again,” the defender told the club???s website.

“We are more prepared, but you are never perfectly prepared. There will be different situations and the team will have to grow in the match again, we will have to face the expectations and pressure.??

“But with our level of confidence and with the team in good shape at the moment, I am very confident. The energy is really great in the team, we have a fantastic squad and the??most important thing is that feeling.”

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