Arsenal must improve says Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger is confident his side can still reach the Carling Cup final - but conceded they must turn in a much-improved performance in the second leg to overcome Ipswich.

Wenger fielded a strong side at Portman Road but still saw the npower Championship strugglers pick up a 1-0 win thanks to Tamas Priskin's late finish.

The Tractor Boys were handed a humiliating 7-0 hiding at Chelsea in the FA Cup just three days earlier but merited their win against a sloppy Gunners side who looked toothless in front of goal.

Wenger's problems were not limited to his attack as Priskin gave centre-halves Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny a torrid evening but the Frenchman has backed his misfiring side to reach Wembley.

Arsenal are without a trophy in six years and Wenger admitted some of his squad looked tired at Portman Road.

He said: "I believe we can turn it around but we had a warning.

"We will have to produce a different performance at home.

"We had a lot of the ball but didn't do enough with it.

"Ipswich defended with heart and hurt us on the counter attack, they showed that you can have 70% of the ball without coming out on top.

"You have to give Ipswich credit. They fought for this win.

"We rely a lot on our sharp and crisp passing and that was a problem.

"We looked in control in the first half but looked much more vulnerable after the break. I put that down to fatigue."

Wenger has been linked with a move for former Gunner Matt Upson at West Ham but refused to comment on the move.

However, with a Champions League tie with Barcelona on the horizon and the Barclays Premier League run-in looming nearer, Wenger's back four looks dangerously light of cover.

He added: "Let's not think that we lost the game because we haven't bought a central defender.

"We lost the game because we didn't play as well as we can.

"We have only two central defenders and we are short but I do not want to speak about any particular name.

"Frankly I am just disappointed about our defeat. It is early to talk about a player coming in.

"We have nine games in January and it happens sometimes that you don't always play well in every game.

"As a team we did not have the performance we wanted. We were below our usual level in every department and it would be unfair to put the blame in the defence.

"When you play in one half the long ball has 50 yards to be dangerous."

For Ipswich caretaker manager Ian McParland, the win was the perfect send-off as he leaves the club.

Paul Jewell takes charge this morning and will inherit one of the game's brightest young talents in Connor Wickham.

The 17-year-old striker was asked to play wide by McParland and was impressive throughout to add to a reputation McParland feels he deserves.

He said: "Connor's a young lad. People forget he's only 17 and heap a lot of things on young shoulders.

"He's learning the game. He's not the finished article, but if coaches get hold of him, he's got the attributes to be a top player.

"When he gets older, he could be unplayable. It'll take as long as it takes."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate