By Chris Harris
Victory in the Carling Cup Final can ease the pressure on Arsenal as they chase even bigger prizes this season, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Frenchman will take his squad to Wembley on February 27 to meet West Ham or Birmingham after a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday secured a 3-1 aggregate victory over Ipswich.
The depth of Wenger's squad - and a relative lack of injuries - has allowed the manager to field stronger sides in this season's Carling Cup after admitting in the past that a top-four League finish was more important than lifting a domestic cup.
Wenger hasn't necessarily changed his mind on that but this season he is very much 'in it to win it' and he believes that a Carling Cup triumph could be a springboard to greater success.
"It is more difficult to get in the top four in the championship but I get so often the same question in every press conference that we say 'OK, we try to win everything we can'," he said.
"On the other hand it can get the pressure off the team to deliver in the other competitions. It is not the only target of the season but it can help us to achieve the other targets.
"I feel we have the opportunity now we are in the Final to win one. What I am convinced about is that we will go with the same heart for everything, then we will see.
"I believe we have a chance to deliver but now we are in the Final we need to deliver the needed performance on the day. That is part of mental strength as well."Copyright 2017 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