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CELEBRATIONS ON HOLD

Posted on 22 April 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol revealed that there were only muted celebrations at Highbury - despite the point guaranteeing European football next season.

Martin Jol revealed that there were only muted celebrations at Highbury - despite the point guaranteeing European football next season.

Saturday's performance against Arsenal was certainly worthy of celebration but there was more than a hint of disappointment in the dressing room afterwards at what might have been after we played so well for the first 70 minutes of the 1-1 draw.

Robbie Keane handed us the reward our football deserved with the game's opening goal after 66 minutes but the arrival of Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas from the bench gave the home side impetus and Henry levelled with six minutes remaining.

Head Coach Martin reported: "The most pleasing thing for me was that not one of our players were celebrating in the dressing room after the game.

"I told them that we had qualified for Europe but they did not react because they want fourth place.

"The disappointing thing is we deserved to win at Arsenal. We want to be better and better and I want us to get results but also play well. We have improved this season."

The 1-1 draw at Highbury means we will finish no lower than sixth in the Premiership this season - our best finish since the start of the Premiership in 1992-93 - and booked our place in Europe next season.

Only Arsenal and Blackburn can overhaul us now in fourth - we are on 62 points and can't be caught by Newcastle (they can reach a maximum of 60), Bolton (61), Wigan (60) and West Ham (58).