Gael Clichy believes Arsenal need to become more consistent quickly if they are to keep their hopes of silverware alive.
The Gunners slumped to their fourth defeat of the Premier League season on Saturday as they lost 2-0 at home to Aston Villa.
Having produced a stylish display to see off Manchester United a week earlier, Clichy admits it was disappointing to drop points against Villa.
The French left-back knows there is still a long way to go in the title race but also realises that Arsenal cannot afford to lose further ground on the leaders.
"Those are the key words in football today, being consistent and working hard as a team," Clichy told Arsenal TV Online.
"It was a great performance against Manchester United and if we do that every week we'll be fine. But we did the opposite (against Villa) and we cannot work like this.
"There is time and there's a way to go. There is time to catch and for other teams to drop points but if we play like we did (against Villa), after a few months the season will be finished."
Saturday's result left Arsenal nine points adrift of Chelsea and Liverpool, while Manchester United moved into third and still have a game in hand.
Clichy feels that Arsenal must show more hunger to succeed on a weekly basis and prove they have the fighting spirit to challenge for top spot.
He said: "We realised the win against Manchester United counted for nothing. We have to give them (Villa) credit, look at ourselves and ask the right questions.
"We have to work like we did against Manchester United. If we play with that desire, the quality will make the difference.
"Of course, we have to be positive. The game against Manchester United was the perfect example of a team display and desire. We have to play with the right desire and attitude."
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas also feels consistency will be the key to sustaining a challenge.
Fabregas said: "It's very important to keep winning because if you beat Manchester United but then are not capable of beating other teams then you are nowhere and you don't deserve to win anything."