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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Keown hails 'best ever' win
Martin Keown and David Seaman celebrate
Martin Keown and David Seaman celebrate

Arsenal's Martin Keown said the team's FA Cup victory over Southampton was "the best ever".

Arsene Wenger's team missed out on the Premiership title but gained some compensation in Cardiff with a 1-0 victory that saw them retain the Cup.

"We just wanted to win so badly," admitted Keown.

"It's very important now to keep this group of players together and keep winning trophies and you can see what it means to us," he added.

The veteran defender paid tribute to Sol Campbell, who was suspended for the Millennium Stadium showpiece.

"I was very sorry Sol didn't get to play in this game and everything I did today was for him.

"He has been superb since he came to this club."

It had been doubtful whether Keown would feature in the final, because of a leg injury and the England international admitted he was not at full fitness.

"I had an injection in my leg before the game. To be honest it was a bit wobbly," he said.

Winning captain David Seaman said the disappointment of losing out to Manchester United in the Premiership had spurred the team on.

"We were under big pressure to get this trophy and we got it," said the England international.

"We were so determined and we believed in ourselves."


His comments were echoed by manager Arsene Wenger, who was full of praise for his players.

"The team was under pressure and they were scared of finishing without a trophy," the 52-year-old Frenchman said.

"The last three weeks have been difficult but the boys have been tremendous and they have responded well to the disappointment. We have got the trophy we wanted."

Southampton captain Chris Marsden was positive despite ending up on the losing side.

"Walking round seeing all the fans and Arsenal picking up the Cup is quite a sobering moment," he admitted.

"But I really hope this is the start of something for this club. The fans have had a taste of it now and they want more.

"We have a lot of good young players and they will be back, I can assure you of that."

Manager Gordon Strachan was also upbeat after what he described as "a season of achievement".

The Scot added: "I'm very proud of the way they competed. I couldn't have asked for any more.

"To get anywhere in football you have to suffer disappointment and then when you get the chance again you have to make sure you don't suffer disappointment again."

Arsenal defender Martin Keown
"We wanted to win so badly"

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