Arsene Wenger frustrated at extra Arsenal fixture

Arsene Wenger accepts Arsenal could have done with a "little breather" rather than tackle Leyton Orient in a FA Cup fifth-round replay, but maintains the Gunners can sustain their assault on four fronts.

Wenger made 10 changes from the side which had beaten Barcelona in midweek, but his team lacked a cutting edge in attack before eventually making the breakthrough when Tomas Rosicky headed in at the start of the second half.

However, Orient produced a late rally and substitute Jonathan Tehoue drilled home with a minute left to earn a money-spinning replay which keeps alive the npower League One club's dream of a quarter-final at Manchester United.

With an already congested fixture list - which includes next Sunday's Carling Cup final against Birmingham at Wembley - the last thing Wenger will have wanted was a replay, which is set for March 2, just a week before they head out to Spain for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

"The most negative side of our result is one more fixture and in fairness that is not what we needed," the Arsenal manager said.

"We have had problems in the cups against teams from the lower divisions to finish them off, but also we have given a lot.

"Sometimes, mentally, a breather would not be bad.

"What people forget is that since the beginning of December, we have played every three days, so sometimes to have a week where we could give the players a little breather would not be bad."

Wenger continued: "But you also have to give credit to Leyton Orient because they never gave up and fought very hard.

"You had a match against a team which is technically superior, but fighting spirit has a chance.

"As long as you do not score the second goal, that can happen.

"But we are still in the competition and will now play at home.

"The most important thing is to go through."

Wenger admitted he had not heard of Tehoue, but is unlikely to forget the French striker now.

Orient boss Russell Slade hailed his very own "super sub".

Slade said "When I have started with Jonathan, sometimes he has not made the impact he has coming off the bench, when he has scored something like eight goals.

"In terms of super sub, forget about the [David] Faircloughs of this world - Tehoue, he is the boy, our secret weapon."

Flamboyant Orient chairman Barry Hearn had pledged to take the squad out to Las Vegas at the end of the season were they to earn themselves a lucrative replay.

Slade - whose side are in the hunt to make the play-offs after losing just once in 14 league games - quipped: "The lads had Elvis Presley on when the chairman walked into the changing room."





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