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By ESPN Staff

Wenger: I may have to prioritise competitions

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he may soon have to prioritise which competitions are most important for the Gunners this season.

The Gunners face a fixture congestion following Sunday's 1-1 draw with Bolton in the FA Cup fourth round.

Brazilian Julio Baptista was the latest player to pick up an injury, with his groin problem now making the attacker a doubt for Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Tottenham.

Arsenal must go to the Reebok Stadium for a replay on February 14 - a date already earmarked for a rearranged home Premiership clash with Manchester City.

With the Champions League campaign also set to resume next month, Wenger accepts he may have to soon weigh up his feelings about the domestic knockout competitions.

'I will see when we play and which players I will use, because at the moment it is important not to lose too many players,' said Wenger.

'First of all you want your good players to be with you and we do have important games coming up.

'If we continue to lose players, I will have to choose what we go for.'

With leading scorer Robin van Persie already out with a potentially season-ending injury the rest of the season and several other first-choice players struggling, Wenger admits he cannot afford to see his squad depleted further.

Asked whether the situation could force his hand in the transfer market, the Arsenal manager said: 'That is a good question. I cannot give you an answer. I do not think so.

'We have lost now van Persie, and will see what Baptista has.'

Wenger accepted: 'I would see that as a panic buy because it was not planned.'

Arsenal were forced to come from behind for the 10th time at their new home this season yesterday when Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan fired the visitors ahead five minutes into the second half.

After that setback, the Gunners immediately upped the tempo and were level through Kolo Toure's header on 77 minutes, but were unable to conjure an equaliser.

'We did not have the right sharpness and focus to play at the right pace, which suited them,' said Wenger.

'In the second half we came out with a good resolution, but then straight away we were 1-0 down. From then on, it was all us.'

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce had to field questions over the future of defender Tal Ben Haim, a target for Chelsea and not in the squad yesterday after failing a fitness test.

'It was disappointing - but if a player says he is injured then he cannot play,' Allardyce reflected.

'If a bid comes in, it will have to be a big one.

'It will cost a team much more now than three weeks ago because there is only two days left to get a replacement.

'Certainly at the prices being speculated at the moment, there is no way he will go.'

Allardyce believes his side will fancy their chances of going through given the Gunners' poor record at the Reebok Stadium.

The Bolton manager said: 'The staff pay meticulous attention to every detail and that is why we are where we are.

'We have to stop teams who are better than us as individuals and try and expose their weaknesses.

'That is what we did on numerous occasions - and the goal we scored showed that we can play lots of different styles of football.'