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Bolton to rest players before Fulham game

last updated Tuesday 02nd December 2003, 9:06 AM
Bolton Manager Sam Allardyce
Bolton Manager
Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce has dropped a broad hint that he will rest players for Wednesday's Carling Cup tie at Liverpool.

Pilloried in the past for not fielding his strongest teams in cup competitions, particularly the League Cup, the Wanderers' boss has made it clear that the attraction of a so-called glamour tie will not tempt him to change his policy.

Premiership survival remains his top priority, even if it means disappointing players who fancy a cup tussle with the Mersey Reds.

"The players are going to want to play at Anfield but, as always, the players will play and the manager will manage," Allardyce said.

"The manager's heart will not over-rule his head because the manager wants to get to the Carling Cup Final but he doesn't want to be like Bryan Robson and get relegated in the process."

The reference to Robson's bitter experience of 1997, when he took Middlesbrough to the finals of the two domestic competitions while dropping out of the Premiership, serves to justify Allardyce's selection policy and answer his critics. And, as if to underline the point, he draws on his own experience this season when he lost the services of Emerson Thome, his only recognised central defender, when the Brazilian pulled a hamstring in the Third Round victory over Gillingham.

"That should tell everybody why the cup takes a back seat as far as I am concerned," he stressed.
Source Bolton Evening News by Gordon Sharrock
Since 1998
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