Arsene Wenger has admitted his relief that Arsenal got through their FA Cup semi-final against Wigan today, and bemoaned the number of players the Gunners had missing.
Nevertheless, the Arsenal manager declared himself pleased that his team would be contesting the final in May, after beating Wigan in a penalty shoot-out.
“I am relieved because we were under big pressure because I expected a difficult game and I was not disappointed. Wigan were impressive, well-organised, physically very strong, calm when they had the ball and they played very well. They have shown why they knocked Man City out in the quarter-final and we had everything a little bit against us for a while in the game.
“We needed to show some character and some resilience and as well some nerves in a very united and resilient way.”
Putting the result above performance Wenger said it was all about getting to the final.
“Yes that’s the most pleasing because everybody expected us to on that front. It’s important mentally that we didn’t go out tonight. If you imagine the consequences of going out tonight, it’s quite worrying. I believe we have a good team, we have many players out and this morning Oxlade-Chamberlain was still not sure to be available, Gibbs was not available, plus all the other players who are out.
“We have a good squad but recently we were missing too many players.”
But he’s called on his team put the final out of their minds as they have to get back into Premier League action with a game against West Ham on Tuesday night.
“For us it’s important now to focus on the Premier League and if we do that well I’m confident we will come back. On top of that we have a target now for the end of the season.
“We have a final in the FA Cup but we now have a period where we can concentrate on the Premier League.”
After 120 minutes, legs will be heavy and who knows what other injuries we’ve picked up, but fingers crossed today gives them the boost they need.