Arsene Wenger confident Arsenal can end trophy drought
Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can cope with the pressure of trying to end the club's barren run of more than five years without a trophy.sports Updated: Jan 09, 2011 08:59 IST
Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can cope with the pressure of trying to end the club's barren run of more than five years without a trophy.
Wenger's side, who have gone without silverware since winning the 2005 FA Cup, travel to Ipswich on Wednesday for the League Cup semi-final first leg after narrowly avoiding a shock defeat in the FA Cup against Leeds.
It took a last-gasp penalty from Cesc Fabregas to secure a 1-1 third round draw and a replay at Elland Road but until then it had looked like another opportunity missed for Arsenal.
However, Wenger insists going so long without a trophy will not affect Arsenal's performance when they face Championship opposition again in Ipswich for the first leg of the semi-final.
"That we have not won the cups will not have an influence, what will be an influence is that we are two games from the final," Wenger said.
"It (the Leeds draw) was a good warning. But we knew about Leeds before the game, they went to Manchester United and won last year and had a draw at Tottenham.
"This Leeds team has belief in the competition from last year. They were aggressive in a good way, not a negative way."
Leeds took the lead when Max Gradel was tripped by Denilson and Robert Snodgrass scored from the penalty spot.
Fabregas levelled after Theo Walcott was fouled by Ben Parker, meaning Arsenal have an extra match in their busy schedule.
Wenger added: "It was not the wish I had before the game but it was the second worse. We go to Ipswich on Wednesday, then West Ham, then Leeds."
Fabregas was disappointed with his team's performance and the manner in which they conceded their penalty.
The Spain midfielder added: "We knew if we won we would have a week off after West Ham.
"Now we have to play football. We like it. It's a nice competition against a difficult team. It will be a difficult place so we will have to be at our best to beat them."
Leeds manager Simon Grayson was delighted with his team's performance.
He said: "We can take immense pride from what the players have done, from their attitude and performance.
"Obviously it is tinged with a bit of disappointment we were minutes away from pulling off a famous result.
"I said to the players beforehand to just do themselves and the fans proud, and they have walked off the pitch having done that.
"Individuals have done well, but any success we have had in the past and will do in the future is about us as a team collectively.
"Arsenal are a fantastic football club and it is testament to our players they have had to bring on Fabregas and Walcott to try to win the game."
First Published: Jan 09, 2011 08:57 IST