Fulham unlucky to sit in the relegation zone, says Arsenal’s Arteta

Fulham’s results are not an accurate reflection of its performances this season, according to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

Mikel Arteta on Fulham...“I think they've had some very unfair results that could have put their team in a different position.”   -  AP

Fulham may be in the relegation zone but Scott Parker's side has been unlucky in the Premier League and its results are not an accurate reflection of its performances this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said.

Fulham is 18th in the standings, six points behind Newcastle United which has a game in hand, and the London club faces a tough battle for survival with games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to come. Parker's side has been in the relegation zone since December but showed some promise in February with a mini unbeaten run before losing five of its last six games.

“In my opinion, they've been really unlucky with some results. I started to watch them a few days back and I really like the way Scott sets his team up. It's really brave,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Sunday's derby.

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“They know what to do really well and again I think they've had some very unfair results that could have put their team in a different position. They're going to come here to do what they always do and it will be difficult. Small details have gone against them in a lot of games. There have been some decisions in the box that have defined games and they probably should have taken more from them. Credit to them for what they are doing.”

Arsenal, ninth, is 10 points behind the top four and with automatic qualification for European football increasingly unlikely with seven games left, winning the Europa League is its only hope.

The club qualified for the semifinals where it will meet Villarreal, coached by former Arsenal manager Unai Emery, and Arteta said positive results in the league will have a “knock-on effect” in the Europa League.

“I think the better we are in the league and if we keep winning, the confidence will be higher, the spirit will be better, the players' individual performances will maintain,” Arteta added.