By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger has backed his battery of midfielders to stand up and cover for the injured Jack Wilshere.

Wilshere underwent successful surgery on his ankle on Monday but will now face a spell on the sidelines while he recovers.

The likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin have moved into the first-team picture this year and their manager believes they can step up.

“Touch wood we can absorb the number of games we face well and we have some younger players pushing like Coquelin and Frimpong, who are playing very well,” said Wenger. “So hopefully we can cope with it.

“If Abou Diaby comes back well and quickly we should, number-wise and quality-wise, be alright. That depends as well on the injuries we have in the next two or three months.”

Wenger bolstered his midfield during the summer, bringing in the likes of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun to add experience as well as quality. He expects them to produce the goods in Wilshere’s absence.

“[Jack’s injury] makes us a bit shorter in midfield and it puts a bit more pressure on our midfielders to perform game-in, game-out, because we will have less rotation possibilities,” he said.

“But every club can be tested on that front so it shouldn't impact our end result of the season and shouldn't be any excuse at all.

“Jack can come back and be very strong and help us finish the season well.”

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27 Sep 2011