MILAN -- Jack Wilshere says Arsenal have to use their win over AC Milan as a blueprint going forward as they bid to salvage their season.
Arsenal ended a four-match losing streak with a 2-0 victory at the San Siro that leaves them well placed to secure a spot in the Europa League's quarterfinals next Thursday at the Emirates.
But first up is a Premier League game against Watford on Sunday, and Wilshere wants to see the team replicate Thursday's effort there as well, even though a top-four finish looks out of reach.
"We have to use this win, use it as sort of target. We've got to reach these levels every week," Wilshere said. "It's been a while. It was important that we stuck together tonight. ... If anyone tells you you haven't got to prove anything to anyone, they're wrong, you're always trying to prove yourself to people and play well in the next game and we know we haven't been good enough.
"We're all aware of it. We don't have to read too much into it. When we lose games and a few in a row we look back at the games and we know we weren't good enough but of course as well we've all got social media these days so we see it all. We've just got to stick together."
With Arsenal 13 points behind fourth place in the Premier League, Wilshere acknowledged that winning the Europa League is their best chance of reaching next season's Champions League. But he's not ready to give up hopes of a top-four spot just yet.
"We can't just give up in the Premier League, we've got to keep fighting," he said. "We need to get as many points as possible and give us the chance if anyone does slip up -- which doesn't look likely -- we need to be ready to pounce if they do.
"I think that can help us in this competition as well, if we keep the wins up and keep performing like this we've got a chance."
It was also a rare away win for Arsenal, who have struggled mightily on the road in the Premier League this season. But Wilshere credited a game plan that emphasised solidity at the back.
"We started the game thinking we're in for a real test here and we have to be ready defensively, we have to be willing to work hard, to dig in, dig deep," he said.
"When you start a game like that, with that attitude, we've got quality players who are always going to come through going forwards and create chances but we need that defensive shape and organisation to give us a base."