Arsene Wenger has challenged Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to justify the faith shown in him as Arsenal look to secure a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals with victory at Newcastle on Wednesday night.
Gunners boss Wenger has confirmed he will select a balance of experience and youth at St James' Park as he continues the search for a first trophy since 2005 and Emmanuel-Thomas is one of several English youngsters pressing for inclusion in Wenger's squad on a regular basis.
"Jay is knocking very hard on my door - with two hands. He has outstanding quality," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "He has outstanding qualities, he has the build you dream to have. It is down to how far he wants to go because he has big potential."
Wenger added: "He works very hard to get his fitness right. When his fitness is right, Jay will be not only a good player, but a great player.
"One thing is for sure - he can score goals. That is a massive talent you cannot give to people, his right foot, left foot, he is unbelievable in front of goal. This guy is an unbelievable finisher, inside and outside of the box."
While the likes of captain Cesc Fabregas, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and striker Marouane Chamakh are probably set to be rested, Wenger intends to send a strong squad up to Tyneside, with Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott both in need of match sharpness following their return from injury.
"Of course we will rotate some players, but we will go with a big core of the first team. It will be similar to what we did at Tottenham," Wenger confirmed.
"It is difficult to say exactly who will play, but we will go with a side of 80% first-team experience. Newcastle is always a heated, highly-motivated place, a hot atmosphere, but we want to go there and win the game to qualify, I have said we will go for every single trophy."
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