Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has given up any hope of appearing in Sundays Carling Cup final against Birmingham after his hamstring injury has failed to recover in time.
Fabregas talked on his twitter feed of not sleeping until Sunday to get fir for the game, but has had to see the greater picture and accept defeat.
With Arsenal still fighting on all four front’s, there are many more important games coming up, including a trip to the Nou Camp for Arsenal in a week and a half’s time.
“It’s hugely disappointing. Maybe my heart was ruling my head when I felt I might play. Now, reluctantly, I must accept I cannot,” said Fabregas.
“Even on Friday morning I had hoped to be involved, even if it was on the bench.
“But the boss, Arsene Wenger, is right and the most important thing is to make sure I get fit as quickly as possible to help Arsenal for the rest of the season.
“Let’s hope Arsenal could also be playing in the FA Cup and Champions League finals at Wembley. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime season.
“So while it is agonising I can’t be with the lads on the pitch on Sunday, I’ll be working hard to ensure I am part of the whole adventure.”
Fabregas also talked about the importance winning silverware will have on his teams confidence for the rest of the season.
“Tomorrow’s Carling Cup final is going to be such an important game in terms of the whole squad’s confidence for the rest of the season,” he added.
“We are still involved heavily in the race for four major trophies.
“I am obviously disappointed to be missing tomorrow’s game – but even though I won’t be on the pitch I will be kicking every ball from the stands.
“It was touching for our keeper Wojciech Szczesny to say he would like me to lift the trophy if we win.
“The boss has also said the boys should go out and win the cup for me because I cannot play. That shows the spirit we have at Arsenal in the dressing room.
“But really, I would like them all to go out and win the Carling Cup for the club and for the supporters. They are the ones who have stuck by us and waited a long time for the chance to win a trophy.
“The Arsenal fans still sing for us and travel to games in great numbers wherever we play to give us the backing that can turn a draw into victory. They don’t care who the opposition is, they support us all the time and so for them it would be really magical to see Robin van Persie lift the Carling Cup.
“Like the fans, Arsene Wenger treats every game the same whether we are playing Birmingham or Barcelona. And I really hope to be fit for the second one!”
Even if Arsenal win on Sunday, Fabregas admitted there would be no time for celebrations with so many big games coming up.
“The games are coming so fast at the moment – almost every three days, which means hardly any time to relax or to see our friends and families. We are spending a lot of time in hotels. After tomorrow we play Leyton Orient in the FA Cup and then Barcelona next week.
“It means even if we beat Birmingham there is no time to celebrate. If the boss orders training on Monday, so be it.
“Now is not the time to party or to be tired. There will hopefully be plenty of time to celebrate in the summer – for now we have to stay completely focused.
“Nothing has been won yet and nothing has been achieved. And that is why the boss’ plan to stick to the same routine regardless is the best thing possible for our preparation.
“He doesn’t put pressure on young players who have come into the first team, that’s what we like. He just wants us to play the way we are used to and that is very good for the team as a unit.
“A final is a special day but you just have to be focused to give 100 per cent. I am sure the boss will find a way to make everything work.
“When you step out on the pitch you forget about it being a final. And you either want to win that final or get three points – it’s exactly the same.
“I don’t like to get too far ahead. We are doing well in the Premier League, have a replay in the FA Cup and a Champions League second leg at Barcelona.
“There’s still a long way to go and we have to just think about this next game which will be very difficult because Birmingham are playing very well.
“This is the first step along the way for this team – hopefully it will be the first trophy and that will make it a big step. But it is still one step at a time.”