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Wenger: No plans to rest Wilshere

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says midfielder Jack Wilshere is not in need of a rest ahead of the FA Cup replay against Swansea on Wednesday.

Wilshere, who until recently had been sidelined for 15 months with a series of injuries, has been involved in 16 of his side’s 19 matches since his return to action at the end of October.

While some observers have suggested the England international may be due a rest, his manager has claimed the 21-year-old’s rate of improvement means this is unlikely to happen in the coming weeks.

“At the moment I don’t think he is overloaded because he just came back very recently, and you get the feeling he gets stronger (with each match),” Wenger told reporters.

“I don’t think at the moment I will rest him immediately, but it will happen.

“Maybe not in this period, but at some stage I will do it. One month ago you could see he would have to fight with his body to get past people. Against Manchester City he looked comfortable to do that.

“The expectation level is so high individually on players that they are not in a normal development, sometimes there is so much focus on them that I feel it is a handicap.”

Turning his thoughts towards Wednesday’s clash, Wenger admits his side will need to cope with their status as favourites far better than they did in the original tie, a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

“We have to deal with that pressure a little bit better,” he said.

“And not transform that desire into tension.”

Wed 16 January, 2013
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