Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told his players that they can’t allow their Carling Cup final loss to affect the rest of their season.
Arsenal were clear favourites to win their first trophy for six years, but were beaten 2-1 by Birmingham at Wembley yesterday.
After equalising with a Robin Van Persie effort in the first half, Arsenal pressed hard for a winner, only to lose due to a defensive blunder by Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny, which allowed Obafemi Martins to win the cup in the last minute.
Arsenal now face a massive eight days as they play Leyton Orient in the FA Cup, before travelling to Barcelona to play the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.
Wenger pointed out to his team, that despite losing the Carling Cup, they are still well placed in the remaining three competitions.
“It is a massive disappointment for the team, but we have massive challenges in front of us.
“The Carling Cup is four or five games, but a championship season is 38. We will not throw 38 games away because of one game.
“I am confident we have the character and this is a good opportunity to show it.
“We have to be proud of our attitude, continue with our belief, pick ourselves up and face the other challenges we have.
“We will face a lot of questions after that mistake, but we have to be strong enough to stand up.
“It is a good opportunity to show that we have the mental strength to respond to the situation.”
Talking about his defenders, who between them gifted the cup to Birmingham, Arsene said, “Both of them are destroyed.
“We have to lift them up again and help them. That is what a team is about, that is part of the game.”