By Chris Harris

Ivan Gazidis admits that Sunday's Carling Cup Final defeat was "tremendously hurtful" but he believes that Arsenal are still moving in the right direction on and off the pitch.

The Club's Chief Executive looked on as a late defensive mix-up condemned Arsène Wenger's side to a 2-1 defeat against Birmingham City at Wembley and extended their wait for a first major trophy since 2005.

Like all Arsenal fans, Gazidis is experiencing the pain of Sunday's defeat. However, he is convinced that the outlook remains bright for Wenger's young squad.

"It is difficult to have a sense of perspective, particularly after a loss like that. We are all feeling disappointed," said Gazidis.

“It's sometimes tempting to paint a picture based on one result but actually we feel very, very good about the direction that the team is moving in and the qualities of that team.

"In the bigger picture, we believe that we have a real chance of the Premier League title this year, we are still very much in contention in the Champions League after a great home leg against Barcelona and in the FA Cup too - and all with a very young squad.

"We lost in the last few minutes of the Carling Cup Final and that's tremendously hurtful but in the bigger picture the Club is clearly moving in a positive direction. We've got a very good group of young players who are improving all the time and as we look forward over the next four or five years I think we can do so with great confidence, also on a very solid financial base."

Nonetheless, the Chief Executive is more determined than ever to see the Club end their six-year wait for silverware.

"I think Arsène Wenger has said that winning trophies is compulsory at Arsenal," he said. "It doesn't mean you can guarantee it but it does mean we'll give everything to do that and do it in a manner that makes our fans proud."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
1 Mar 2011