Fabregas backs Arsenal to bounce back

Defiant Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas maintains the Gunners must deal with whatever "rugby" tactics other teams throw at them - and warned Ipswich they will be handed a real football lesson in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final at Emirates Stadium.

The Tractor Boys - thrashed 7-0 at Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday - produced a battling display to secure a narrow 1-0 advantage after a late strike from Tamas Priskin in last night's first leg at Portman Road, where new boss Paul Jewell watched from the stands.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger labelled his team "naive" with "no spark or creativity" as a strong side struggled to breakdown the resolute npower Championship strugglers, who last week sacked Roy Keane.

Fabregas - in the starting XI along with England duo Jack Wilshere and

Theo Walcott - accepts Arsenal have to learn to cope with all situations, having been undone by a long ball from Colin Healy which split their centre-backs and set Priskin through to score what could yet prove a crucial strike.

The Spain World Cup winner, however, insists it will be a whole different ball game for the second leg at Ashburton Grove in a fortnight's time as the Gunners aim to stay on course for a first

trophy since 2005.

"I don't know it if it is long ball or it is a rugby kick, but it worked for them," Fabregas said.

"In England, a lot of teams play like that and it works for them, they create chances like that and it is their football.

"We just have to put the ball on the floor and try to play football,

that is what we do.

"I can only remember two opportunities for them, but it was from a long, long ball because playing football they could not really get

behind us or attack us.

"It is a bit disappointing because I think we were the much better team.

"Credit to them because they played well, but Arsenal made the football, the other team refused to play football, they were lucky to score with a long ball.

"But it was one of those nights and now we have to make it at the Emirates in two weeks."

Fabregas added: "It is a 1-0, and of course we did not want to lose, but it is not a 3-0 or 4-0 so we are confident at home we can make it back.

"It is not the same to play at Stamford Bridge as it is to come here.

"Here they play in front of their fans, they are more motivated, the pitch is not as good as Stamford Bridge, so they play their game.

"They know how to do it and did it very well, so credit to them.

"Now we will see how they cope at the Emirates against us.

"We are confident we can do it there."

There is little respite for Arsenal, who travel to relegation-battlers and fellow Carling Cup semi-finalists West Ham for Saturday's late kick-off before heading north to take on Leeds again in their FA Cup third-

round replay.

Fabregas accepts the Barclays Premier League title hopefuls cannot afford another below-par performance at Upton Park.

"The Premier League is the priority for us," he said.

"It will be a difficult game because West Ham always play well against us, so we will have to be at our best."

Wenger will again be without Sebastien Squillaci (hamstring) on Saturday, while full-back Bacary Sagna completes his three-match ban after a red card against Manchester City.

The Arsenal manager has confirmed he will look to bring in cover for central defensive duo Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou, who were stretched last night.

Potential targets could include former Gunner Matthew Upson, who has yet to agree a new deal with the Hammers, along with Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill, Montpellier's Bosnian international Emir Spahic and Werder

Bremen stopper Per Mertesacker.

Garry Monk.

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