By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger admits he wanted a Carling Cup Semi-Final spot despite an already busy festive period.

Arsenal’s exit at the hands of Manchester City on Tuesday night means there will be a maximum of seven fixtures over January if they can avoid an FA Cup Third-Round replay.

Wenger admits the team’s congested campaign cost them dearly last season but insists playing matches is simply what the game is all about. 

“We paid a heavy price for the number of games we played in January,” he said. “We also had the Stoke game cancelled because of snow, so we had a big congestion of fixtures.

“Then we had to play Stoke just before the Carling Cup final.

“Fixture-wise,you can say it is easier, but in fairness I would have preferred to play the games. You always want to take the gamble and play the games. You are in this job to play the games.

“It was very tight against Manchester City. The regret I have is that we put the effort in with spirit, quality, and we lose a game with our opponents having one shot on target.

“That is always frustrating to take - especially when it is a corner for you, and a goal for them.

“That was a bit naïve, and are the two regrets I have. The team has not been rewarded for the quality of the effort.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Dec 2011