Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted his side are in “big trouble” if their festive fixtures don’t go their way.
The Gunners will take on Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom over an eight-day spell between Boxing Day and January 2.
Arteta’s side sit just five points above the Premier League relegation zone and saw their confidence take another hit with a 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
The Spaniard has now seemingly admitted his side could face a battle for survival if they do not turn things around immediately as he conceded their next three games will decide their season.
Speaking after their defeat to City, Arteta told Sky Sports: “We have to turn it around, there’s no question.
“If we don’t, we are in big trouble. That’s the moment that’s going to decide our season.”
Earlier this week, Arteta declared he wants “fighters not victims” to help them get back on track.
After the game, he added: “Well, I am focused on the fighters that we have.
“The spirit that we showed tonight, again, going against a really difficult opponent and conceding the goals we did, I see the way we tried.
“I see a lot of fighters.”
He also confirmed the club will look at options to strengthen in the January transfer window but acknowledges they face a tough task.
“We are looking at options that we have, players coming in and out,” he added.
“We will see what happens. A really complicated window with the pandemic and the way the football world is at the moment, so we will see how things develop.”