The Gunners were well below par in their FA Cup third round tie at Emirates Stadium 10 days ago, when they required an 89th minute Cesc Fabregas penalty to earn a replay, while the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final ended in embarrassing defeat at Ipswich last week.
Van Persie has identified this competition as an opportunity to end the club’s six-year trophy drought, but accepts games against lower league opposition cannot be taken lightly.
“The last two cup games were not good enough,” he said. “This game is vital because we have a big chance. If we win against Leeds, then after that it will be a game against Huddersfield.
“I have looked at the draw, there are a lot of other Premier League teams playing each other. Lots of teams will go out, so we have big chances.”