Arsene Wenger eager to maintain Arsenal's focus

Arsene Wenger had challenged his young Arsenal side to retain their focus after securing a place in the Carling Cup final at Wembley next month - starting with the visit of npower League One Huddersfield on Sunday.

The Gunners last night overcame a stubborn Ipswich 3-0, having lost the first leg 1-0 a fortnight ago.

It will be a first Wembley final since 1998 and the chance to end a six-season trophy drought, with the last piece of silverware being the FA Cup in 2005.

Wenger feels his squad should be confident of delivering in all competitions as they challenge for honours at home and in Europe - which continues against the Terriers in the FA Cup fourth round at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"We want to go for all the competitions," the Arsenal manager said.

"We have learned something from Leeds and Ipswich, and that is you have to be 100% focused.

"We play Huddersfield on Sunday at the Emirates, so to be capable to focus on that game will be vital for us."

Wenger hopes victory in the Carling Cup final, where they will face either Birmingham or West Ham, could provide his hungry squad with a springboard.

"I get the same question every time, so I say 'we try to win everything we can', but on the other hand it can more get the pressure of the team to deliver in the other competitions," he said.

"It is not the only target we have of the season, we have even bigger targets, but it can help us to achieve the other targets."

The Arsenal manager added: "What I am convinced is we will go with the same heart for everything.

"We have a chance to deliver, but it will be down to delivering the needed performance on the day. That is part of mental strength as well."

For more than an hour, Ipswich defended resolutely to frustrate the Gunners.

However, Nicklas Bendtner finally ended their resistance with a fine individual goal before Laurent Koscielny headed in a second and Cesc Fabregas made sure of the trip to Wembley late on.

Wenger said: "The players were really up for it and focused.

"We needed to be patient, calm and mature - and you have to credit Ipswich as they defended with great spirit.

"It means a lot for the team and they deserve to be rewarded for a fantastic attitude."

Wenger, meanwhile, insisted Arsenal were not close to concluding a deal for highly-rated Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or any other of their transfer targets.

"There is no news, and I would be surprised if there will be any," the Arsenal manager said.

One concern for the Gunners was a head injury to full-back Bacary Sagna, who was substituted during the first half after a clash of heads with keeper Wojciech Szczesny and was taken to the hospital with concussion.

Nine thousand Ipswich fans had made the journey from Suffolk, perhaps more in hope than genuine expectation of a cup shock.

Town boss Paul Jewell paid tribute to the efforts of his players.

"We always knew we were going to be under the cosh here, but you have got to give the players credit because they were not disgraced over two games," he said.



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