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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 23:46 GMT
Wenger to stand by young players
Theo Walcott
Walcott's fortunate goal rescued below-par Arsenal
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will keep faith with his young players despite a fortunate 1-1 draw with Spurs in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg.

Theo Walcott bundled home late on after Tottenham had dominated the game.

But Wenger said he was not tempted to restore his senior players for the second leg at White Hart Lane, adding: "We suffered tonight but we came back.

"We have made decisions that will stand for the second leg. I'm convinced we can do it."

Jermaine Jenas gave Tottenham the lead after 37 minutes and the visitors looked set to record their first win over their north London rivals since 1999 until Walcott's late 79th-minute goal - which rebounded off his body after Lee Young-Pyo's tackle.

606: DEBATE

"We had to give a lot on Sunday at Burnley and had not recovered completely," explained Wenger.

"But we still came back under difficult circumstances, which gives us confidence.

"They had more chances than we had, but when they scored we had a mental blow and struggled to recover from that.

"But for me it's a positive result."

Meanwhile, Spurs boss Juande Ramos said that nothing should be read into his decision to leave goalkeeper Paul Robinson out of the side in the club's biggest game of the season so far.

We deserved to win but it's a 180-minute game and there are still 90 to go

Spurs assistant boss Gus Poyet

Robinson has been guilty of several high-profile errors this season and was left on the bench at the Emirates Stadium, but Ramos said he had simply wanted to give some first-team action to Radek Cerny.

"There are 24 or 25 players in the squad and they all have to play at some point," said Ramos.

"Paul Robinson is a good goalkeeper, which he has demonstrated. We all know what a good goalkeeper he is."

Nevertheless, Ramos refused to guarantee that Robinson would return to the starting line-up when Spurs take on Chelsea on Saturday.

Tottenham assistant boss Gus Poyet agreed that Arsenal would go away happier with a draw ahead of the second leg at White Hart Lane on 22 January.

"We were the better team. We deserved to win but it's a 180-minute game and there are still 90 to go," he said.

"The hardest part to take is the goal. If they score in the top corner you can take it but when it takes a deflection, it hits him twice..."

SEE ALSO
Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham
09 Jan 08 |  League Cup
Carling Cup as it happened
09 Jan 08 |  League Cup
Arsenal v Spurs photos
09 Jan 08 |  Football


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