Wenger left to rue missed opportunities

April 13, 2006

Arsene Wenger insisted all was not lost despite Arsenal failing to make the most of their chances against Portsmouth.

Sol Campbell's long-awaited return ended with the veteran England centre-half leaving Fratton Park bloodied after suffering a suspected broken nose as the Gunners failed to hold out for all three points against the relegation-battlers at Fratton Park.

Thierry Henry's sublime finish had given Arsenal the first-half lead, only for his team-mates - and in particular Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor - to spurn further gilt-edged chances which would have put the game beyond Pompey.

Lomana Lua Lua headed in an equaliser for Pompey, as the home side rallied.

The result leaves Arsenal trailing Tottenham by four points in the race to finish in the Champions League qualifying places.

But Wenger declared: 'It is not over. We have to keep going and be positive.

'It is a point, but a disappointing point considering the chances we had.

'We want to make the maximum out of our games, let's win on Saturday and then maybe it will be in our hands again.'

Wenger added: 'Overall I feel sorry for the team. You cannot fault them for effort, or desire.

'The players are disappointed because they are not rewarded for the efforts they put in, and for what they rightly feel they deserved.

'Portsmouth made a minimum risk and got maximum out of it. We did maximum risk and got minimum out of it.

'There were a lot of positives from the match, but the negative is that we should have won the game by five, and in the end we finish 1-1.'

Campbell, meanwhile, will undergo medical tests to discover the extent of his latest injury.

Having picking up a head wound at the start of the second half, a clash with substitute Svetoslav Todorov then left the centre-back with a blooded nose.

Wenger, though, feels Campbell, 31, showed enough to display his international credentials had not been hampered by a 10-week lay-off, for a combination of a leave of absence and injury.

'He has a cut on his eyelid, and a bloody nose as well. I do not know if it is broken or not, we have to check that,' said Wenger.

'I do not know if he will be available for Saturday, and do not know what I will do. I will change the team for every game now.

'He played very well physically in the first half, he was handicapped a little bit in the second half by his injury.'

Wenger declared: 'I feel he has proven he is fit to play for England, I will leave the rest to Sven. I believe he will be available for England.'

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp insisted there was nothing malicious in the challenge of Todorov, the striker backing in on an aerial challenge, and he reflected on a 'big point' for the relegation-battlers.

The draw extends Pompey's unbeaten run to five matches, and moves them level on points with fourth-bottom Birmingham, albeit with an inferior goal difference.

Redknapp declared: 'It was a great performance for us in the end, and a terrific point.'

However, the Pompey boss insisted: 'You cannot get carried away, you just have to keep going.'