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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 22:41 GMT
Wenger hails Arsenal youngsters
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger feels his youngsters have gained a great deal from their Carling Cup run this season.

The Gunners lost out 1-0 to an early Manchester United goal in the quarter-finals but Wenger is delighted with the progress they have made.

He said: "They did themselves justice. We were caught a bit with inexperience at the start.

"But overall we did very well. We had a very, very young side but this team has great potential."

He added: "Three or four players are close to playing for the first team - they need more experience but they have big talent.

"We went into this competition knowing at some stage we would play against a team away where we might not go through - overall I'm very happy with the competition we played."

Wenger admitted he had thought about substituting Robin van Persie after he clashed with Kieran Richardson.

"I considered bringing van Persie off. It's important to keep control of your nerves and I was worried at some stages - especially at the start of the second half," said the Frenchman.

But Wenger said some of his youngsters could be featuring in the first team for Premiership matches in the coming weeks.

"It's important to know who can make it at the top," he added.

"Some will get their chance soon because we have some big, big games coming up and some players are suspended."

Interview: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

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