Jack Wilshere believes Arsenal are making progress despite missing out on the Premier League title again.
Arsene Wenger's men were arguably favourites after moving into top spot in January, but they were ultimately unable to keep pace with surprise champions Leicester City.
The Gunners sit third with one match remaining, two points behind second-placed Tottenham.
And Wilshere, who has managed just two league appearances this season after suffering a broken leg in August, is pleased with the progress they have made.
"I think we are moving in the right direction," he told the Arsenal website.
"We put up a big challenge this year, and OK, it didn't work out, but after we beat Leicester at home we thought this was our year and we have to push on," he added, referring to a 2-1 victory over the Foxes at Emirates Stadium.
"Unfortunately we didn't, but we put up more of a fight than previous years.
"We used to struggle against the big teams, but this year we were alright.
"In games like the Swansea one we start quickly in the first 20 minutes and have chances but we need to make them count. There are a lot of chances we create with the likes of [Mesut] Ozil, Alexis [Sanchez] and [Danny] Welbeck, we just have to be a bit more clinical.
"A big thing we worked on this season was when we lose the ball, we straight away have to defend and win the ball higher up. I think we have done that well and we improved a lot on that."
Arsenal host relegated Aston Villa on Sunday in the final round of the Premier League season.
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