Wenger: Arsenal young guns have real character

LONDON - Arsenal make up in strength of character what they lack in age and experience, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday ahead of his team's League Cup final against Birmingham City at Wembley.

Wenger, who has built a succession of successful teams since becoming Arsenal manager 14 years ago, believes his current line-up is capable of ending nearly six years without a trophy on Sunday.

Although Arsenal will be without injured captain Cesc Fabregas and in-form winger Theo Walcott for the final after both were injured against Stoke City on Wednesday, Wenger remained upbeat as they seek their first trophy since winning the FA Cup in 2005.

Arsenal have their eye on four trophies this season and are targeting the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Premier League as well as the League Cup.

"Cesc is sad and disappointed of course, but it could have been worse, the injury is a very small one," Wenger said.

"We have so many targets in front of us, it is important that he is not out for longer," he told reporters at his pre-match press conference before the final.

"We can deal with the fact that Cesc will not be there, Walcott will not be there and, of course, (Thomas) Vermaelen will not be there.

"When you look at the squad we have and the number of players we have available, we have enough quality players to deal with that. We have belief, confidence and are committed," Wenger added.

"We have a good bond, a good confidence level and are highly determined to do well on all fronts.

"This team is a young team. They have the advantage of a team that has grown together.

"What is important is not what happened in the last five years, but what we can do now. Victory at Wembley can help us to have more confidence for the other trophies that we go for."

However, he will not be taking the threat of Birmingham lightly.

"Birmingham are a team I respect a lot because they have always consistent behaviour in their motivational level," he said.

"They have stabilised the club in the Premier League and they are now in the Carling Cup Final. We will face a Birmingham team that is highly determined to do well. We expect them to be at their best and that means a big performance from our side will be required."

Wenger said that Robin van Persie will captain the side in Fabregas's absence and that Walcott was a major doubt for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at Barcelona on March 8.

"He will be out for two to three weeks with an ankle problem. I would say it is very unlikely he will be fit for the game," he added.