Young guns backed by Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt that a lack of experience proved costly in his side's 3-0 Carling Cup quarter-final defeat at Manchester City.

Wenger stuck to his policy of using the competition to field a number of his back-up players and a full-strength Citizens outfit took advantage to make it through to the last four.

"They played their full side and we didn't, that was the difference," Wenger told the club's official website."We play in the Champions League and they don't, so they use their full side in this competition.

"You cannot say we develop the players like Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Fran Merida and then never give them a game.

"I know we have not won a trophy since 2005, but I do not consider that if you win the Carling Cup you will be going on a trophy parade.

"It is a competition for our younger players. If I don't play them here where would I play them?

"I don't believe that next season if we had won the Carling Cup I would say 'we won a trophy last year'.

"We played in the quarter-final of the Champions League last season against top teams. Playing in those matches is ten times harder than playing in the Carling Cup."

Meanwhile, Wenger played down his refusal to shake hands with City manager Mark Hughes at the final whistle, adding:"I think I have nothing to say.

"I am free to shake hands with whom I want after the game. I have no professional courtesy."

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