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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Wenger wary of banana skin

ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is determined to make sure that his players do not take Ipswich Town lightly in Tuesday night's Carling Cup semi-final.

Ipswich lead 1-0 from the first leg, a game in which Arsenal struggled to deal with the Championship club's long-ball game.

The second leg is back at the Emirates, and Arsenal are expected to overturn the first leg deficit. But after suffering home defeats to some of the Premier League's so-called lesser teams already this season, as well as being held at home by Leeds United in the FA Cup, Wenger knows it is wise not to take victory for granted.

"They will aim to protect their advantage and try to get us on the break with a direct game, as they tried in the first match,'' said Wenger. "If you look at my record I think I have been consistent in my career against teams of lower divisions because I respect them and I know that they can raise their level and raise their game.

"If you are not prepared you have bad surprises. Where we are stronger is defensively as a team, but of course hopefully we can open them up. To go to the final we need to produce a very good game and that is what I am focused on.

"We want to win everything and at the moment on Tuesday is the Carling Cup, so we go for the Carling Cup; Sunday is the FA Cup so we go for the FA Cup.

"At the end of the season we will see whether we have won trophies, but at the moment I think the most important is to live the moment for us and not to be looking forward too much.

"We expect them to play the same way again, but of course we want to be much sharper.''

Ipswich were criticised for their style of play after the first leg, with Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas saying: "I don't know it if it is long ball or it is a rugby kick, but it worked for them."

Town boss Paul Jewell has since said: "If we could play it at Twickenham we may have a chance. I fancy we could beat them at rugby."

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